John has got a problem:

There is a company with registered trademark: Example. The company sells shoes. It owns the domain example.com. So whenever someone wants to buy this company's shoes they go to example.com.

John is a programmer who one day while searching through the web found that the domain example.io was not reserved. He bought the domain with mixed mind.

Now, John doesn't want to sell or return the domain. Instead he wants to use it as blog for writing reviews on Example's products. To avoid confusion for visitors, he has placed a disclaimer page and also placed a line in header and footer of the blog saying: We are not associated with "Example.com" in any way.

But he is still worried and wants to know

Each one of the good reasons why John is not infringing trademark of Example.com and thus is not accountable to any lawsuits???

  • 1
    @JohnConde Almost all trademarks have limits on them. Some are global, and some are locale based. Some are market based. It would not be a violation of a locale based or market based trademark if, for example, it is limited to a New York garment manufacturing company and the new use of the trademarked name does not confuse this trademark by providing software services in London. I used to have to do this for a living. It is not difficult to understand, but it is conditional - almost always. Therefore, it is impossible to say without a trademark name to research. Unfortunately.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 20:01
  • @closetnoc Which is one reason why this is off-topic among others. I was undecided whether to close this as too broad or as a dupe. I went with the dupe as it is possible it can point the question-asker in the right direction.
    – John Conde
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 23:50
  • @JohnConde Of course it was the kinder choice! While trademark and copyright are easy to understand topics, they are often the most difficult for some to accept.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 23:58

1 Answer 1


We cannot tell you based upon this. Trademarks are conditional. This means that the answer depends upon how the trademark was registered, is used, has been used historically, and how you are intending on using it. While your example sounds good, it is replete with irrelevancy and incomplete in actionable facts. This is why I keep telling people that it is the trademark that has to be researched in order to answer ANY question regarding the use of an existing trademark. Hypothetical scenarios cannot substitute for what is needed. You need to know if you can use a particular trademarked name. No-one, and I mean no-one can give you an answer based upon a hypothetical without there being extraordinarily significant misinformation and danger. It is just not possible to answer your question without a trademark to research. Anyone who attempts to is a fool and anyone who follows the advice of a fool is just as foolish if not more so. This question is impossible to answer. I am sorry to be harsh. It is just too important a topic not to be concrete and absolute.

  • that's somewhat helpful
    – eMad
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 19:25
  • @eMAD I hated to write the answer that way. My best advice is to research the trademark. In the U.S., you can use: tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/… In other countries, there may be similar resources. You will see conditions under which the trademark is registered and used. The idea is that your use of the trademark should not confuse existing uses of any existing trademark. It is not complicated work but does take some research. Most of the time, you can figure it out fairly quickly.
    – closetnoc
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 19:52

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