Wondering whether buying up an expired domain that is trademarked will put you into legal trouble? Watch below to hear Jeff Gabriel’s advice.
Hi, my name is Jeff Gabriel. I am the Co-Founder and CEO of Saw.com. We are the leading domain brokerage on the net. We’re always writing fresh content to help viewers like yourself understand and love the same industry that all of those that work with me at Saw.com have grown to love.
I’ve made a list of common questions and I want to answer each of these questions in 30 seconds or less.
Can I buy an expired domain that was previously a brand name that is currently trademarked?
Well, that’s an “it depends” question. There are a lot of “depends” questions in this industry. For the record, I am not a trademark attorney. There are plenty of great trademark attorneys that I would recommend in this industry. I’ll tell you three because I’m not going to point you in a certain direction. John Berryhill, he’s been in the industry for almost 20 years. He’s a very experienced lawyer. You have Zach Muskovitch; he’s the head of the ICA, a wonderful lawyer. And then you have Steve Lieberman, a third and great lawyer who’s also very knowledgeable. All three of them can do a quick search and give you a very straight and honest answer as to what the best use for a domain name may or may not be when there are multiple trademarks on it. I highly suggest, if you’re serious about launching a business and investing quite a bit of money into the business, you should probably go to someone like that and get their legal opinion.
General Rule for Trademarked Expired Domains
But, if for example, you were to buy delta.com in an expiration auction or from a third party that used to have Delta Airlines on it. And when you purchase that, and if you’re going to use it for something entirely different than the other trademarks that the term Delta is using it for, you probably won’t have any issues. So let me give you an example with Delta. You have delta.com, which exists today. If you go to delta.com, you’re going to see Delta Airlines, but there are also two other massive companies that use the word delta. You have Delta Dental you have Delta faucets. All three of those use the Delta trademark, but for three totally different things. So let’s say you wanted to come out with Delta Shoes, and you wanted to buy delta.com. You should (again, I’m no attorney), but you should be okay to use it for that use. So even if there’s a trademark on it, as long as you don’t infringe on that trademark, you should be okay. But again, I would speak to an attorney. I would certainly not ask places like Quora or message boards. You need to spend the money, and it should only be a few hundred dollars. And if you’re gonna spend thousands on a domain name, and potentially invest tens of thousands into a business idea or plan, you should probably spend it in the right places. And that’s by getting a professional opinion.
More About Saw.com
The team of brokers at Saw.com have extensive experience in the domain industry. Together, Saw.com Co-Founders Amanda Waltz and Jeffrey Gabriel have been a part of $400 million in domain sales. Furthermore, Saw.com is a team devoted to helping clients build their business and be seen online. Saw.com expertise creates a unique, personalized experience through domain brokerage, appraisal, portfolio management services and more.
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