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Intellectual Property (IP) Law

(8 Posts)
wotzy Fri 14-Aug-09 13:46:14

Typosquatting? not sure what you call it. Competitor trading off your name, selling same products and service. Our trademark is registered (ipo.gov.uk). Our domain url are the words from the TM name, always have been.

Has a cease and desist letter ever worked for your company, or is this just old hat now?

They are using TM words in their Meta descriptions too. They are using the same word in our logo in their website logo. We have been established longer, our site has been on the same domain for years. Theirs is about 4 years old. They are becoming a pain in the derrière. And we have been putting off what to do about it.

Any advice, or links very much appreciated.

Thandeka Fri 14-Aug-09 13:47:29

Husband is a patent lawyer (but knows alot about trademarks so will ask him when he gets in for you)

wotzy Fri 14-Aug-09 13:49:07

Thank you and thanks for your very quick response, much appreciated.

Thandeka Fri 14-Aug-09 19:26:33

He says:

If you have trademark registered in UK you can sue someone for using that trademark on similar goods or services but be careful because there are provisions relating to threats about using the trademark (as in a cease and desist letter could be a bad idea without trademark lawyer help as the baddies (my words not his!) could counter sue you). There are other provisions of english civil law referred to under term "passing off" which allow you to sue infringers independently of trademark route. (a trademark attorney would be able to advise you on the best route for you dependent on your circumstances)

He would advises you to get in touch with a qualified trademark attorney who will normally do a free half hour consultation where you discuss the case and you can get a cost estimate and they can talk you through what you need.

He recomends contacting a trademark attorney at:
Gill Jennings & Every LLP
Broadgate House
7 Eldon Street
London
EC2M 7LH

Tel: +44 (0)20 7377 1377
Fax: +44 (0)20 7377 1310

Hope this is helpful- he is patents rather than trademarks so best off speaking to someone who knows that law inside out as its a complicated business!

wotzy Fri 14-Aug-09 19:31:25

Thank you for that and please say thank you to your DH from Wotzy and MrWotzy. We'll look into it.

Thandeka Fri 14-Aug-09 19:49:08

No problemo. Hope you get it sorted in the financially best way!

SenoraPostrophe Fri 14-Aug-09 19:56:33

if the domain is a .co.uk you can get Nominet to "mediate" - costs £700 and you will win if there is clear evidence of trading on your name.

If it's not a uk domain then it may be trickier, especially if the site is hosted abroad (as UK law may not be enforceable).

before you contact a lawyer - find out where the site is hosted with a whois lookup (try www.whois.sc) - if not UK then it may not be worth it.

do you know how they get their web visitors? if the advertise on google, you may be able to get the ads removed by reporting it to google.

re targetting the typos - put a page on your site which targets the same typos and beat them at their own game.

NetworkGuy Sun 23-Aug-09 03:36:05

SP - just FYI - in case they eventually do away with 'whois.sc' they now use whois.domaintools.com for lookups, but there are quite a lot of other services offering lookups too...

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