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Advise re: already owned .COM URL

  • 1.  Advise re: already owned .COM URL

    Posted Nov 14, 2018 13:44
    I'm pretty sure the response to this is going to be, "Unfortunately, you are out of luck...", but thought I'd take a shot in case anyone has found an ingenious solution to this problem...  A few years ago, we purchased a .ORG domain name for a new sub-brand website for our nonprofit, but unfortunately the .COM version of the domain was already taken.  We don't really have the budget to compete/bid for a domain, so we just let the issue drop.  Skip ahead a few years and now the domain owner of the .COM site is posting some imagery/material that we don't particularly like (not offensive though) and that we don't want visitor's to think is associated with us.  Other than trying to purchase the .COM domain again, any suggestions for dealing with the issue?  Thanks in advance!

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    Annette Fowler
    Managing Director of eLearning Technology
    National Endowment for Financial Education
    Denver
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  • 2.  RE: Advise re: already owned .COM URL

    Posted Nov 15, 2018 15:11
    If the name is of enough value to you, register for a trademark at USPTO.gov. Not free (but also not that expensive) and takes a little bit of time. There are great books at nolo.com about how to do it.

    Once you have the trademark, file a complaint with the domain name registrar who will likely kick it up to interNIC for review. But, it's highly unlikely the squatter will push back or challenge it. Technically since you are filing the trademark after they've already started using the domain, you're on weak legal ground but it's worth a try. If they are US based then a simple cease and desist on a lawyer's letterhead will do the trick 95% of the time. You probably have an attorney on your board or supporter list who will do it pro bono.

    I am not a lawyer but have had to learn more than I ever wanted to about Intellectual Property so hope this helps!

    Dave

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    David Smith
    Director of IT
    California State Parks Foundation
    San Francisco, CA
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  • 3.  RE: Advise re: already owned .COM URL

    Posted Nov 16, 2018 10:56
    Thanks so very much!  JUST the kind of direction I needed!

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    Annette Fowler
    Director of eLearning Technology
    National Endowment for Financial Education
    Denver
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