Recently I purchased what I thought was an excellent generic one-word domain on the expired auctions. I made the decision based on gut feel – and my supposed knowledge of the English language! However, I made a boo-boo. It was an unambiguous trademarked term.
One of the purposes of this blog is to share knowledge and information. So I wanted to outline my mistake on here – despite it being embarrassing! By doing this, hopefully I may save someone, sometime, from an expensive mistake.
As most people who know me will attest, I come out very strongly against those that register or purchase domains that are clearly and unambiguously trademarked. E.g. well-known brand names.
However, generally speaking, I don’t have a problem in acquiring generic word domains even if there is a trademark registered. Whilst many of these may also be TM protected in a particular Class / Classes (there are 45 of them), provided that I have a different legitimate usage planned for the domain name – and I’m not attempting to “pass myself off” – then I should be fine. Obviously, that is a general statement – individual circumstances need to be considered everytime.
I purchased epicurious.com.au thinking this would make a great personal blog. I love food, wine and travel; and so I thought this domain would be perfect to detail my adventures and experiences. I was aware that there was a well-known site at epicurious.com which promoted recipes and menus, but my idea was going to be a lot different, so I thought I would be fine.
So to strengthen my case, I lashed out and registered the Business Name EPICURIOUS EXPLOITS; and put up a “coming soon” page.
Cutting a long story short, the next day I discovered that there was no dictionary word “epicurious” (apart from the Urban Dictionary). Lots of derivations of the word “epicure” – however, I did not have a leg to stand on with regards “epicurious”. My knowledge of the English language proved fallible after all!
I realised that I could potentially have a big problem sometime in the future, so I decided to act immediately. I rang my Registrar, and asked them to cancel the registration immediately (which they did).
Fortunately, my total costs amounted to less than $120, so I consider I got off very lightly. And as an “old dog”, I learnt a valuable lesson. Check the dictionary! 😉
Ned O’Meara – 6th July 2016