Received letter from USA lawyers

Started by carldweb, Jul 09, 2022, 03:08 AM

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carldwebTopic starter

I received a letter from lawyers requesting that I transfer my domains to them. The domains in question are YYYY-YYYYY.fr and YYYY-YYYYY.com, with the former being registered in 2010 as a tourist goods store, but was later abandoned and given over to the sale of links. In 2015, an attempt was made to revive the store on a new engine and with a new design on a new domain of the same name, but there have been practically no sales on the website.

I did some research and confirmed that the lawyer's office owns the trademark for the store and the contact person who signed the letter is the same woman who is listed as the contact for the trademark registration. Their Facebook page is also inactive and they do not conduct any activities.

In the event of a dispute, my main arguments could be the primary and long-standing registration of the store in the FR zone, the fact that the site on COM is a mirror and the store only operates in France. However, while I don't particularly need the domain, I am reluctant to simply give it away.

Therefore, I have a few questions: Can they theoretically claim the domain if they already have a similar one without a hyphen? What is the likelihood of losing the domain through UDRP? And what could they realistically obtain from me in exchange for the domain?
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Kik84

The domains were registered in 2010, while the trademark was registered in 2014. If the trademark owner tries to take control of the domains now, it would be considered Reverse Domain Hijacking since the trademark did not exist at the time of registration and you did not infringe on anything. It may be worthwhile to write to them about this.
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JohnS

If you obtained the domain name for just the registration fee and it doesn't hold much value for you, consider selling it to them. If the situation is as you have described and you haven't infringed on their trademark or used their texts, then they cannot take the domain away from you. It's their problem, not yours.
but, if you neglected the domain name or only used it as a hobby, then selling it may be an option.
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zoomerma

Let's address the issue of whether the lawyers can theoretically claim the domain if they already have a similar one without a hyphen. In cases like this, where there is an established trademark associated with the store, the lawyers may have grounds to argue that your use of the domain infringes on their intellectual property rights. The fact that the lawyer's office owns the trademark for the store adds weight to their potential claim.
Regarding the likelihood of losing the domain through UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy), it's important to note that UDRP cases are typically decided based on a set of criteria, including whether the domain registrant has rights or legitimate interests in the domain and whether the domain was registered and being used in bad faith. Given the history of the domain and the potential trademark infringement, there is a non-negligible risk of losing the domain through UDRP proceedings.

Now, let's discuss what the lawyers could realistically obtain from you in exchange for the domain. In situations like this, where there is a legitimate claim of trademark infringement, the legal counsel representing the trademark owner could seek damages for the unauthorized use of their intellectual property. This could potentially include compensation for any profits derived from the website using the infringing domain. Additionally, they could request the transfer of the domain as part of a settlement agreement to resolve the dispute.

Considering the complexities involved and the potential risks, it's advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified attorney specializing in intellectual property and domain disputes. They can provide a thorough analysis of the situation and advise on the best course of action to protect your interests while addressing the claims made by the lawyers representing the trademark owner.
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