Legal Question in Intellectual Property in Ohio

Reverse domain name hijacking

I registered '''' on 2 FEB 2004. This is a dictionary name. The domain remained undeveloped until ca. 29 DEC 2005. On that date, I placed a 2-page ''for sale'' website online, under this domain. The website was targeted toward the Internet population in general and no one party in particular. On 7 JAN 2006 I received an inquiry from Paradigm Entertainment Group, Inc. asking price and availability of the domain. On 10 JAN 2006 I replied with details: initial price is $47,500 and is available ASAP. (This price is based on domain ''comps'' sales; e.g. sold for $400,000; was $100,000; went for $21,000; sold at $10,120; and went for $20,201.) On 13 FEB 2006 Paradigm replied stating they held a federal trademark for the domain (ser. 78789101 filed 11 JAN 2006), that I was bound by law to notify future buyers of this fact, and that their offer price is $50 to buy. I have not responded back. Are my rights in jeopardy? Can I still sell this domain? Or develop it into a website? What can I do to ensure they don't hijack it from me?

Asked on 3/05/06, 9:14 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Justin Lampel Lampel & Associates, P.C.

Re: Reverse domain name hijacking

you reserved the domain name before they filed for federal trademark, you own rights to the domain name...but, since you have not used the "blogmana" trademark in commerce, then you could end up in a situation where they can stop you from developing the domain name, but you would get to keep the domain may also file a letter of protest with the trademark (after their application becomes published (if at all) in approximately 8 months) feel free to follow up with me with further questions...hope this helped, justin lampel

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Answered on 3/05/06, 9:40 pm
A. Olusanjo Omoniyi Omoniyi Law Firm, P. C.

Re: Reverse domain name hijacking

Assuming your facts are in the right sequence, you remain the owner of the domain because you registered the domain name before Paradigm filed for trademark. Also, it is puzzling that Paradigm contacted you first offering to buy the domain name only to file for trademark 4days after the inquiry. Be prepared to pursue legal action in the event that the trademake is eventually published several months (say 7-9months )from now. Protestation with the Office of Trademark and Patents is certainly one avenue purposely to protest and even request that the registration be reversed or denied. Expect some defensive argument that you have not really commercially used the domain name judging by your facts. Even then, it appears you should consult an attorney. If you need my service feel free to call. Good luck

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Answered on 3/06/06, 12:51 am

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