View Full Version : [UK] - Trademarking a domain?

05-27-2002, 02:37 AM
Hi all, this is mainly a uk question.. please help :)

Ok. i run a company called Studio Infinity Ltd, our main site is www.e-tones.co.uk

Now, I want e-tones.com however some cropola mass domain registration company have it, domaincollection, I hate them!

Is there any way I can trademark e-tones and therefore force them to hand over the domain? Its set to expire in 2007 :eek: ... which is tooo far away :)

Please help

05-27-2002, 05:06 AM
do you know who currently owns the domain?

if so i recommend contacting them and asking to buy the address

05-27-2002, 08:33 AM
Hi, tried this.

They wont respond to emails asking less than $10000!!! :eek:

05-27-2002, 10:16 AM
hmm i can't really see any other way round it unless you change your site name, and find a vacant domain

05-31-2002, 05:07 PM
Is there any way I can trademark e-tones and therefore force them to hand over the domain?

First let me start with these disclaimers, I am not a lawyer, so my comments should not be considered an "expert" opinion. Also, my experience is based on US law, and I see you are talking about a UK site, so you really need to check out how your mileage may vary in your part of the world.

With all that being said, let me say that generally speaking:

- You can not simply register a trademark simply because you want to use the name, you must be actually using it as part of your business in trade and commerce.

- Simply registering a name as a trademark doesn't mean that no else can use it. It just means no one else can use it for the same product of service you have registered it.

- For example if I sell widgets, I can trademark the name "Wacko" for the business of widgets ( a ficticious category used here for illustration) and have it stamped on all my widgets.
You can still use the name "Wacko" and have it stamped on all your gadgets, that is, if gadgets are covered under a different business category from widgets

- Just because you have the name Wacko registered as a trademark, that does not give you the right to have the person who owns the domain name wacko.com or wacko.net give up their rights to the domain name.

- There have been many interesting disputes where folks who had rights to a name in the business world lost their claim a similar dot com. Many of these disputes have been resolved and the cases documented by ICANN. You can see the cases listed by domain name at this link:

Hope this helps.

06-01-2002, 05:26 AM
It wouldn't work, principally because they have ALLREADY registered the domain and can easily proove they did this BEFORE you registered the trademark. So there is no way that you could claim they are infringing your trademark.

06-01-2002, 10:18 AM
It wouldn't work, principally because they have ALLREADY registered the domain and can easily proove they did this BEFORE you registered the trademark.

I am trying hard not to "practice law" here, as I am not a lawyer, however, I am trying to make sure anyone who reads this thread understands the concept.

When you registered the trademark, and when they registered the domain are important points, but that alone would not neccessary prove anything.

When you are "registering" a trademark you are legally staking your claim to exclusive use of a name for a business purpose. Before you can register a trademark, you must first prove you are in fact using the name for business. So you can be using the name and claim it as your own before it is actually registered as a trademark.

The fact that someone registered a domain name before you registered your name as a trademark could actually be a negative thing for the person registering the domain name, IF you could prove that the only purpose they registered the domain name was to block you from using it, or use it to steer business away from you.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, anyone who reads this thread, the key points to be learned here is that law is very rarely an clear cut case of black and white. Numerous factors weight into legal decisions, and most laws are full of gray areas so that lawyers and judges can justify their existance. (Sorry for the social commentary, but that is my belief!)

This issue is a civil matter, rather than a criminal matter, which means the biggest issue here is money. Were you "damaged" financially in any way? Did some one register that domain name to deny you access to it, which in turn caused you to lose money.

Proving damages, and proving intent, thats where the lawyers and lawsuits come in.

Check out the link I mentioned, and you will see numerous examples of what I am talking about:


Happy Webmastering,

[edited for grammatical errors by Q]

06-05-2002, 07:04 AM
Unfortunately by TM'ing the name e-tones you can't claim back the domain. The only way you can do this is if the trademark was registered before the domain.

Which also means that they have the right to keep renewing it until they wish to let it go.

In the meantime, put free ringtones back on your site, it used to be the best free resource available!

06-05-2002, 03:10 PM
Yes e-tones.co.uk is the best resource online for free ring-tones. Ever since ringing tones were commercialised, I have used e-tones as my main source for mobile ring tones.

I am creating my very own ring tone website, and I wander if i could use e-tones ring-tones on the site. Well can I please?