Can the domain name be taken away?

Started by wellm97, Nov 11, 2022, 02:15 AM

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wellm97Topic starter

Hey, I know the topic might have been discussed before, but I recently encountered an interesting situation. I own a domain in the .fr zone, and it's being used for a non-commercial project. However, I received a call from the legal department of a well-known mobile operator, informing me that they are launching a new product line with a similar name to my domain. They immediately refused to transfer the domain and other options were not even considered unless I agreed to pay a hefty price.

Now, I am concerned if they will take the domain away through legal means. My question is, what are the possible justifications and ways to legally keep my domain name?


Sorry, I'm a bit confused. Did the mobile operator contact you to offer money for the domain or did they demand that you hand it over? And what would you like to do in this situation?

In theory, if you registered the domain before the mobile operator registered their trademark, then you have a right to the domain. However, in practice, things can get more complicated. One option could be to negotiate with them and offer a price for the domain that reflects its true value. You can explain that you're not trying to squat on the name and that the domain is important to your project.

But before jumping into negotiations, it's important to consider if the domain is really necessary for your project. If it's not a crucial component, it may be worth considering letting it go and finding an alternative domain name that won't cause legal issues.

Matthew Evans

So if I understand correctly, you have a domain name that is similar to the product line of a commercial company and you're wondering if you have a right to keep it. The answer may depend on how long ago you registered the domain. Google, for example, has one official domain name and no one else has the right to register any similar domains, even in other zones.

To determine your legal rights to the domain, it's a good idea to hire a lawyer who can investigate if the company has any claim to the name. If they don't have any trademark or patent on the name, then you may have full rights to the domain. However, if the issue is that the domain is in a different zone, it may be worth considering registering the same name in a different zone. This could prevent any potential legal issues down the line and allow you to continue using the name for your project.


If you discover that someone is using your trademark in a domain name without your permission, it's important to take action. Even if the name is not a registered trademark, you may still have grounds to sue. There are three possible situations to consider:

1. You have a registered trademark.
You can use the Whois service to find out who owns the domain name. If the owner is listed as a "Private person," you may need to request their details through a lawyer or court order. Once you have the owner's details, you can send them a claim stating why the use of the domain name is illegal and propose terms for resolving the dispute. If the owner agrees, you can seek to transfer the rights or delete the domain. If they refuse, you may need to file a lawsuit and seek compensation.

2. You have an unregistered brand name.
In this case, it may be more difficult to prove your legal rights to the name. However, you can still try to negotiate with the domain owner or seek legal action.

3. You have neither a trademark nor a brand name.
This situation can be challenging, but it's still possible to take legal action if you can show that the domain owner is using your name in bad faith or for fraudulent purposes.

During any legal proceedings, it's important to involve the domain registrar as a disinterested third party. You may also need to seek a court order to prevent the use of the domain name during the proceedings. If you win the case, you can request that the domain name be cancelled or transferred to you.

Paul Scott

If a well-known brand decides to launch a new product under a new name and discovers that someone else already owns the same brand name, there may be little that can be done. However, if the company registers the new name and launches the product, they may be able to seek legal action against the domain owner if they are using the name without authorization.

If the domain owner has no legal justification for using the name, then the court may require them to give up the domain name. However, the court cannot transfer the website or its contents to the company. Ultimately, it's important for both brands and individuals to exercise caution when choosing a domain name and seek legal advice if there are any questions about potential trademark infringement.