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 Chilling Effects Clearinghouse > Domain Names and Trademarks > Notices > Blimpie Come Home (NoticeID 34674, http://chillingeffects.org/N/34674) Printer-friendly version

Blimpie Come Home

February 10, 2010

 

Sender Information:
Kahala Corp.
Sent by:
[Private]


Scottsdale, AZ, 85258, US

Recipient Information:
[Recipient]



Clifton, NJ, 07012, USA


Sent via: United Parcel Svc
Re: blimpieinpiscataway.com Domain Name

Dear Mr. [Recipient]:

Kahala Franchise Corp. ("Kahala") is the owner of various BLIMPIE trademarks. Kahala licensed the right to use its BLIMPIE trademarks to Monaliza Cuisine, Inc. ("Monaliza") and Mr. [an Individual - not Recipient]. The agreement under which Kahala licensed those rights to Monaliza and Mr. [an Individual - not Recipient] has been terminated. Accordingly, Kahala hereby requests that you immediately transfer, and in no event later than February 26, 2010, the blimpieinpiscataway.com domain to Kahala. The administrative contact information is as follows:

[Redacted]
9311 E. Via de Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
480-362-[Redacted]
[Redacted]@kahalacorp.com

Please contact [Redacted] at 480-362-[Redacted] or [Redacted]@kahalacorp.com or the undersigned if you require additional information to complete the transfer.

Sincerely,
[Redacted]
Associate General Counsel

cc: Monaliza Cuisine, Inc. Attn.: [an Individual - not Recipient](via UPS)

 
FAQ: Questions and Answers

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Question: What is a trademark and why does it get special protection?

Answer: A trademark includes any word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination, used, or intended to be used, in commerce to identify and distinguish the goods of one manufacturer or seller from goods manufactured or sold by others, and to indicate the source of the goods. In short, a trademark is a brand name.

Consumers reap the benefit when trademarks are protected. By preventing anyone but the actual mark owner from labeling goods with the mark, it helps prevent consumers getting cheated by shoddy knock-off imitators. It encourages mark owners to maintain quality goods so that customers will reward them by looking for their label as an indication of excellence. Consumers as well as mark owners benefit from trademark laws.

Trademark owners spend a lot of time, money, and effort to protect the distinctiveness of their trademark. Once trademarks have become diluted to the point where the general public no longer recognizes them as distinctly applying to a particular manufacturer, they lose their value to the trademark owner because they no longer attract customers to his particular goods. For example, ?aspirin? used to be the trademark of one particular manufacturer of synthesized acetylsalicylic acid, but is now used to generically describe that product regardless of who produces it. Trademarks owners must be vigilant to make sure that their trademarks rights are not being infringed and that their trademarks are not becoming diluted or generic.

The birth of the Internet and the use of character strings (domain names) to represent Internet addresses has presented trademark owners with a whole new set of problems. It is often too expensive to register every variation of a trademark in every top level domain. Therefore, trademark owners must make sure that the people who register domain names that are either the same as or confusingly similar to a trademark are not using the domain name in a way that infringes on the trademark. One way to ensure that the trademark owner will not lose its rights in the mark is to file a UDRP complaint so that the Panel can decide whether the domain was registered in order to take unfair advantage of the mark owner. The Panel may decide that the trademark owner was wrong and had nothing to worry about, but unless the trademark owner is vigilant and files the complaint, it may never know for sure whether its rights were being abused.


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Question: What exactly are the rights a trademark owner has?

Answer: In the US, trademark rights come from actual use of the mark to label one's services or products or they come from filing an application with the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) that states an intention to use the mark in future commerce. In most foreign countries, trademarks are valid only upon registration.

There are two trademark rights: the right to use (or authorize use) and the right to register.

The person who establishes priority rights in a mark gains the exclusive right to use it to label or identify their goods or services, and to authorize others to do so. According to the Lanham Act, determining who has priority rights in a mark involves establishing who was the first to use it to identify his/her goods.

The PTO determines who has the right to register the mark. Someone who registers a trademark with the intent to use it gains "constructive use" when he/she begins using it, which entitles him/her to nationwide priority in the mark. However, if two users claim ownership of the same mark (or similar marks) at the same time, and neither has registered it, a court must decide who has the right to the mark. The court can issue an injunction (a ruling that requires other people to stop using the mark) or award damages if people other than the owner use the trademark (infringement).

Trademark owners do not acquire the exclusive ownership of words. They only obtain the right to use the mark in commerce and to prevent competitors in the same line of goods or services from using a confusingly similar mark. The same word can therefore be trademarked by different producers to label different kinds of goods. Examples are Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets.

Owners of famous marks have broader rights to use their marks than do owners of less-well-known marks. They can prevent uses of their marks by others on goods that do not even compete with the famous product.


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Question: What implication does alleged confusion have on claims of trademark infringement?

Answer: A mark that is confusingly similar so closely resembles a registered trademark that it is likely to confuse consumers as to the source of the product or service. Consumers could be likely to believe that the product with the confusingly similar mark is produced by the organization that holds the registered mark. Someone who holds a confusingly similar mark benefits from the good will associated with the registered mark and can lure customers to his/her product or service instead. Infringement is determined by whether your mark is confusingly similar to a registered mark. The factors that determine infringement include:

  • proof of actual confusion
  • strength of the established mark
  • proximity of the goods in the marketplace
  • similarity of the marks? sound
  • appearance and meaning
  • how the goods are marketed
  • type of product and how discerning the customer is
  • intent behind selecting the mark
  • likelihood of expansion in the market of the goods


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Question: What is a domain name?

Answer: A domain name is a name associated with a particular computer online. In the domain name www.chillingeffects.org, .org is the top-level domain ("TLD"), chillingeffects is the second-level domain name, and www is a subdomain. Domain names are looked up on name servers in the DNS hierarchy to resolve them to numerical IP addresses.

A domain name registration, like a telephone directory listing, is simply a service by which the domain registry agrees to list your domain name and the corresponding IP address in its domain zone file (such as the .com zone file). The routers that forward data bits around the Internet must consult these zone files to know which machine you're using. If the registry removes the domain name from the zone file, then routers (and users) will not be able to address mail or see your website if they use your domain name. They can, however, still reach you by using your IP address.

There are over 250 top level domains (like .com, .us and .uk). Each has its own procedures for handling registrations and trademark disputes.


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Question: Isn't the domain name registration process "first come first served"?

Answer: In .com, .org and .net, which are "open" to any kind of registrant, the policy is first-come, first-served, as long as you have registered and used the domain name in good faith or have legitimate interests in the domain name. However, you have no right to violate trademark law, or ignore your Registration Agreement, or engage in cybersquatting just because you registered the name first.

Furthermore, in the newer domains such as .biz and .name, there are additional registration requirements that must be met because some of these domains are restricted. Trademark owners may also have advance registration rights. Check individual registry requirements. See list of generic top-level domain registries at http://www.internic.net/faqs/new-tlds.html.


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