31 Dec 12
31 Dec 12 11:24 am
I don't know whether or not the case above is abstract or real, but in Australia and most other places, it is illegal to engage in conduct likely to confuse people in terms of the traders, even without a registered trademark. When trademarks are brought into the equation, it is best to steer clear, especially if it is the words alone that are registered and without a logo.
Ownership of trademarked words for a given industry type gives the trader a monopoly on them and woe betide anyone who uses those words to promote a rival business!
So for example, we own the trademark "snake man" for all things reptile in several jurisdictions including Australia and the USA. Now if someone registered a web domain "snakeman" and traded for the same sort of thing. We'd be hitting them up for infringement and closing them down.
Now in our case we also have the registered trademark "snakeman", but it isn't really neccessary to protect our turf.
Ditto if someone took a domain "snakemen" to flog the same sort of stuff.
There is a stack of legal precedents of bootleggers getting stung hard for ripping off trademarks by doing SEO to jump them in search. We list some on a website.
We have successfully actioned several bootleggers for this very act and are in the process of dealing with two bootleggers this week of one of our registered trademarks (two trademarks for the same words), who have used black hat SEO to usurp us in search by both posting backlinks for themselves using the registered trademark words in metatags, anchor text and the like and simultaneously "link boming" our site to knock it off the top of Google. The cost to us (and gain to them) is measurable in the tens of thousands of dollars!
All the best
The Snake Man, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Melbourne Reptile shows, childrens birthday parties and kids party displays Victoria http://www.snakebusters.com.au