My Mistake

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.

My Error

I purchased 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 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!

Instant Fix

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


9 thoughts on “My Mistake

  • July 6, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Hey you have to have a chuckle , i rego a name the other day and spelt it wrongly i spelt amatuer instead of amateur so had to drop it lol.

  • July 6, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Anybody who buys a lot of domains will make mistakes like this from time to time.  This past year alone, I accidentally found myself in this position twice.  Considering I bought thousands of new domains during that period, often purchasing in bulk, that’s not too bad.  Just a fraction of a percentage point.  Still, those problematic domains cause outsized headaches.

    In my case, I reached out to the companies in question and volunteered to give them my domains at zero cost – no strings attached.  Yet I never received any response, even after contacting half a dozen employees at 1 company in particular.  So I’ll simply be dropping the 2 domains I accidentally purchased.  In general, I’d say it’s a waste of time contacting companies in cases like this.  Even if they’ve purchased hundreds or thousands of domains for brand protection already, that doesn’t mean anybody at the company is MANAGING the portfolio or even paying attention at all.  It’s easier to simply delete the domain or wait for it to drop.

    • July 6, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Agree with you Joseph. I too have offered companies free names because they were “touchy” in terms of trademark and I was going to let them drop. But, I never get a response when offering “free” names. I guess they feel there will be “strings attached” in the future, so they just ignore it. No one trusts anyone anymore, especially because of all the horrible spam that tries to trick us all every day into handing over our hard-earned money.

      Great article Ned. As you know I have made many mistakes like this. Especially in the first year I started. There were many a phone call to you, where I said, “Hey, I just registered this name!” and you told me, “You need to ring up your registrar and drop that name TODAY!”. You taught me many lessons and I thank you again greatly for them, as I am a much stronger domainer today, thanks to you.

    • July 6, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      And with Aussie domains, we have to be a little more careful given “local playing conditions”. 😉

  • July 6, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    That is a really old trade mark and it is vulnerable to removal for non-use. Did you check that the people operating the .com are the same people (or are authorised by the same people) who own the trade mark here?

    • July 6, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      @Nicole – not with you? Why do you say it isn’t in use?

  • July 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Good article Ned. I’ve dropped a few domains in the past for similar reasons . It’s just not worth the grief.

  • July 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm

    Nice article Ned. Sorry to hear you wasted some $. We’ve all done just what you did and realised after.

    • July 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      @Jeff – agreed in spades!

      @Don – I consider I had a win only losing $120. Could have been much worse if I copped a complaint. Not to mention loss of reputation.

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