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Old 08-28-2000, 07:29 AM   #1
CYBERWORLD
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Posts: 231
Unhappy I was prosecuted due to domain!! Please help me to make decision

I have a domain name : memberstripod.com . Yesterday, I received a email from Lycos which said that they will prosecute me unless I give them my domain. Here is the letter, please tell me what to do!!

Quote:
> Dear Sir/Madam:
>
>
> We represent Lycos, Inc. ("Lycos") in intellectual property matters.
> Lycos is also the parent company of a number of related businesses,
> including Tripod, Inc. ("Tripod") and we are writing to you on
> behalf of Lycos and Tripod. Tripod is the registrant of the domain
> name TRIPOD.COM and is the owner of U.S. Trademark Registration Nos.
> 2,125,929, 2,118,108 and 2,180,109, as well as Trademark Application
> No. 75-544,541, all for the TRIPOD mark. Copies of the
> registrations and application are enclosed with the original of this
> letter.
>
> Lycos and Tripod have been in the business of providing Internet
> services since at least as early as 1995. The Lycos Network
> services now include leading search engines, e-commerce shopping,
> directories, free e-mail, instant messaging, community services,
> free homepage building, personal start pages and Web-based content
> such as news, financial information, games and digital music. The
> Lycos Network services are accessed worldwide by more than 30
> million users per month. Lycos' global media network offers
> services in 25 countries and 65 web sites throughout the world and
> in 13 languages.
> The services offered under the TRIPOD mark feature quality content
> and homepage building tools, for beginners and experienced users, as
> well as online commerce opportunities. Through extensive use and
> promotion of the trademark TRIPOD, Lycos and Tripod have established
> valuable goodwill in the service mark and trade name TRIPOD, and
> consumers have come to associate the trademark and trade name TRIPOD
> with Tripod and with the Lycos Network.
>
> It has come to the attention of our clients that you have
> registered, and are currently offering for sale on the domain
> brokerage AfterNic.com, the domain name MEMBERSTRIPOD.COM (see
> enclosed). You should know that a domain name misappropriating the
> trademark of another entity creates the potential for substantial
> dilution, blurring, tarnishment and consumer confusion, because an
> Internet user reasonably may assume that the domain name is
> sponsored by, affiliated with, or somehow approved by the owner of
> the trademark.
>
> Be advised that Lycos and Tripod view your registration and offer to
> sell the MEMBERSTRIPOD.COM domain name as adverse to their trademark
> rights in TRIPOD. By offering to sell a domain that incorporates
> our clients' TRIPOD trademark, you are clearly attempting to
> capitalize on the intellectual property of Lycos and Tripod. Your
> offer to sell the MEMBERSTRIPOD.COM domain is an unfair business
> practice and dilutes the distinctiveness of the TRIPOD trademark.
> Furthermore, you remarks on Afternic.com ("MembersTripod.com will
> help you get a lot of traffic due to typo...") make it fairly clear
> that you are willfully infringing our clients' rights in the TRIPOD
> trademark.
>
> In light your actions, we wish to call to your attention to the
> Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, recently enacted and
> signed into law in the United States, which established severe
> penalties for use and/or trafficking in domain names that are the
> same as or similar to pre-existing trademark rights of others.
> Relief available under this law may include forfeiture of an
> infringer's domain name, transfer of that name to the rightful
> trademark owner, and awards of actual damages, statutory damages of
> up to $100,000 per domain name, costs and attorneys fees.
>
> In addition, soliciting the sale and placing domains for sale on
> Internet domain brokerages has been regarded in a number of panel
> decisions under the new Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution
> Policy as being evidence of abuse and bad faith domain registration
> (see Wal-Mart Stores, inc. v. Walmart Canada, Case No D2000-0150
> (May 2, 2000)).
>
> Under these circumstances, we demand that you, and every person,
> agent, company or other entity affiliated with you, immediately
> cease and desist from all use and/or sale of MEMBERSTRIPOD.COM
> domain name and any similar domains. Furthermore, we request that,
> no later than September 22, 2000, you provide us with written
> assurances that you have affirmatively abandoned and released the
> domain name MEMBERSTRIPOD.COM and all similar domains.
>
> We trust that this matter can be resolved amicably, but Lycos and
> Tripod are prepared to take whatever measures may be necessary under
> the law to protect their valuable trademark rights.
>
>
> Very truly yours,
> Seán F. Heneghan
> Fish & Richardson P.C.
> 225 Franklin Street
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Old 08-28-2000, 12:21 PM   #2
DJ_B
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Unhappy

Well, what was your intention in registering the name memberstripod.com? The only reason I can think of is to try to (as Lycos said) increase your revenue and/or traffic from the popular Tripod name. Of course I could be wrong. If you had good intentions the entire time and had not even thought about a trademark infringement, you will have a lot easier time defending yourself (not to say that you will get to keep the domain name, b/c IMHO I think you are kind of ******* over http://geekvillage.com/ubb/frown.gif) It is a lot easier to tell the truth than to tell a web of lies.
Good luck, it will be interesting to see how this case turns out (remember, Lycos has BIG pockets)
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Old 08-28-2000, 03:09 PM   #3
Edwin
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Unhappy

Sorry to say this, but the only *credible* advice anyone on these forums can give you is "get legal advice". Especially since in theory at least you could be fined up to $100,000 if they take you through the WIPO disputes process and you lose.

Edwin

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Old 08-28-2000, 03:39 PM   #4
iraqi
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Unhappy

I say stand up for your rights go to court and you will win stand up against these big companies!
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Old 08-28-2000, 03:55 PM   #5
CYBERWORLD
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Unhappy

I don't mind giving them back this domain, since it is not very useful for me and Tripod will not take much money to buy it, of course.

But, should I ask them to pay a fee, at least the internic registration fee $70?? Or, should I simply delete this domain??

I don't want to borther myself with something that do no good for me. So, I am going to cancel the domain name. But, I would like to know my right...

What should I do next if I want to cancel the name?
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Old 08-28-2000, 05:31 PM   #6
iraqi
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Unhappy

ask them if they would buy it off you for a small price.
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Old 08-28-2000, 07:15 PM   #7
Joe
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Posts: 150
Unhappy

You really have no right in this matter. I'm not a lawyer but i'm sure you realize that everything they are saying IS correct.. those laws were actually enacted and you can be severly punished. You did intentionally try to use their name for personal gain.. which I think is wrong. You can ask for compensation but if they refuse don't drag this out any further. Next time you might check the laws before doing something like that to avoid any legal action http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif

Regards,
Joe
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Old 08-28-2000, 07:43 PM   #8
JakeJeck
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Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 338
Unhappy

Tell them you're willing to surrender the domain to them, but would like to be compensated for registration fees and punitave fees for the time/effort needed to transfer the domain. Try and get $200 or so out of them. If they say no, give it up I guess.

And why did you pay $70 for the domain? Haven't you heard of $12 domain names?
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Old 08-28-2000, 08:10 PM   #9
Edwin
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Unhappy

*Any* action you take without professional legal advice is wrong. Contacting them to make any kind of deal, however small the money involved, is one of the worst things you can do. It legitimizes their claim that you were trying to profit from the name.

Again: Get professional legal advice. This could have very serious ongoing repercussions for your future if they decide to get really nasty and prosecute (think of that $100,000 maximum penalty fine that could be levied)

With such high stakes at risk, it's crazy to rely on free advice from a discussion group such as this, no matter how well-intentioned the givers of such advice may be!

When it comes to legal disputes, free advice is worth as much as you paid for it http://geekvillage.com/ubb/wink.gif After all, why would lawyers get such high fees if the law was easy?

Good luck finding legal representation.

Edwin

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Old 08-28-2000, 08:27 PM   #10
CYBERWORLD
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Unhappy

Then, what should I write in the letter that replies them?

I am worried that if I ask for money, they will turn to Court immediately.

Furthermore, they didn't request me to transfer the domain to them, they just request me to cease and release the domain, right? what do you think?

[This message has been edited by CYBERWORLD (edited 08-28-2000).]
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Old 08-28-2000, 09:12 PM   #11
iraqi
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Umm release and tell them to give you a domain in exchange =)

(hah thats dumb oh well)
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Old 08-28-2000, 09:59 PM   #12
hobbnet
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Unhappy

I think you have a right to that name. For example: Say you wanted to develop a resource website for "Tripod Members" It would make very much sense for you to have a name like this for that type of site and you wouldn't be stealing visitors from their site.... Of course, you should seek legal advice. Maybe throw that website idea angle at your lawyer and see what they think.

-Wade
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Old 08-29-2000, 10:08 AM   #13
qpabani2
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Posts: 129
Unhappy

hehe. thats why whenever you do something like that, use 2 web proxies (spaceports has one and so does another site) and use a proxy yourself. Then, use namedemo.com or namezero.com. They cant find u - ever. I know its illegal but hey - the internet is a place for winners and losers. If you are not smart to have a firewall like BlackICE, theres a chance you may get hacked into. If you open up exe or vbs files you receive in the email, you may get a virus. If you dont register memberstripod.com, someone else will. If youre smart, things like that dont happen to you. Im ammazed tripod didnt register this one before.

Heres my idea on what you should do - Im helping because I have the fat *** american government putting their filthy nose in everything. Put up a resource page for memberstripod.com and place an allclicks link there with a Click here to find resources for tripod members. Then, at the bottom, make a link back to tripod saying you may have accessed this page accidentally, etc, etc, but make it SMALL. Once again, dont do this without legal help - legal help who has a clue of what the internet is about and is a regular user.
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Old 08-29-2000, 10:16 AM   #14
qpabani2
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Angry

Heres what happened to a guy i met on the net. He also did what you did - he cybersquatted a search engine name. On it, he had a searchtraffic searchbox and at the bottom, a link back to the search engine. He also received a letter, and he was told that he could keep the domain, but he had to remove the searchbox. The only reason he was allowed to do this was becuase he had the link back. I dont get lycos - they make a LOT of money every day, cant they spare 12 measly dollars a day for their stupidity? To them, the smart lose, the rich win. I really hope u win this, but u should have used the proxies. Unless, you deleted the domain name from your name, and went on namezero/demo and registerd it :P. Although - once again, take legal advice. If youre young like me, luckily, you have the "young offenders act" protecting you. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif.
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Old 08-29-2000, 10:18 AM   #15
qpabani2
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Unhappy

wonderful - youre from Hong Kong.. now you have even more luck at your side because im pretty sure that there are no laws like that in Japan. http://geekvillage.com/ubb/smile.gif. Only the American government would put their nose in everything.
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