Oct 042010

I never really thought this would ever happen to me, and here I am writing about it. I started registering .co domains a few months ago, after July 20th 2010, which according to the cointernet SAS, was the date that allowed anyone to register any .co domain. You can read the pdf right here I didn’t go overboard or spend a ton of money (each .co name is $30) but I did manage to grab a few decent ones. My intention wasn’t to flip them right away – I wanted to actually build them up and drive solid traffic to these domains and them BAM!

Re: Unauthorized use of (deleted) trademark and copyright.

    To Whom It May Concern,

    (deleted), Inc. has recently been alerted to the existence of the domain name
    www.(deleted).co, which, according to WHOIS records, is registered in your name. As a
    matter of law, your registration of this domain name, inhibits (deleted) legitimate uses of its
    federally registered trademark and the corresponding domain names. Clearly, the registration by
    you of the www.(deleted).co domain name on July 21, 2010 significantly post-dates (deleted)
    registration of the mark “(deleted)” in the United States. (deleted)® is also registered
    in other countries. Your registration and use of this domain name constitutes a violation of
    Federal Trademark Laws and misappropriation of our company’s intellectual property.
    Accordingly, (deleted) hereby demands that you immediately cease and desist from using, deactivate,
    and immediately transfer the www.(deleted).co domain name to (deleted). A copy of the
    WHOIS report and the placeholder website at www.(deleted).co are attached hereto for
    your reference.

This was only the FIRST paragraph! For the sake of privacy and other reasons, I decided to omit the actual name of the company and insert (deleted) instead. The .co I registered dealt with options. This was a big shocker to me since I thought that big time companies that wanted to register matching .co’s actually registered them before the public got an opportunity (which makes the most sense) – but no – I get a letter from hot shot lawyers telling to give it up or we’ll go to court and take it back. I also didnt check the corresponding .com to see if it was in fact a registered trademark. I thought I got a great damn name! Boy was I wrong – I had 2 options. Fight them and try to keep the .co, or just give it up and go on my merry way.

After A LOT of thinking and researching instances where this has happened in the past, I had an important decision to make. I researched the cybersquatting and also re-read the “well put together cybersquatting section” in the letter which states:

    Your intentional attempt to attract, for commercial gain, Internet users to the
    www.(deleted).co site by creating a likelihood of confusion with the mark of (deleted),
    constitutes cybersquatting. This practice of “cybersquatting” has been addressed by court in
    Intermatic, Inc v. Toeppen, 947 F. Supp. 1227 (N.D. Ill. 1996) and Panavision Intl v. Toeppen,
    141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir. 1998). These are two of the pivotal cases addressing cybersquatting and
    impacting the drafting of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (enacted in
    November 1999). The Panavision court found that Toeppen’s use of the Panavision mark to
    display pictures of Pana, Illinois diluted the quality of the mark by diminishing the capacity of
    the mark to identify and distinguish goods and services. You may also wish to refer to the
    following cases for additional legal authority in support of (deleted)’s position that your registration
    and use of the www.(deleted).co domain constitutes cybersquatting: Nabisco Brands Co. v.
    The Patron Group, Inc., ICAAN Case No. D2000-0032, decided February 23, 2000 (resulting in
    the transfer of the domain names wheatthins.com, wheatsworth.com, bettercheddars.com,
    harvestcrisps.com, and milk-bone.com to Nabisco); People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    v. Doughney, Nos. 00-1918 and 00-2289 (4th Cir., August 23, 2001) (ruling against domain
    holder on claim of initial interest confusion). This breadth of case law makes clear that your
    registration of the www.(deleted).co domain name may be improper as a matter of law.

I didn’t have the time nor money to put up a fight with a giant corporation that could easily take me to court. They have the time AND the money to do that. However, instead of merely transferring the extension into their hands – I decided to call Go Daddy and was actually able to get a refund on the .co man which released me from all the BS I was worried about in the first place. I took this route and decided to avoid any further encounters. I also sent their lawyers simply stating that I no longer own the corresponding .co domain and that was the end of it. No more lawyers, no more ideas on what I was going to do with the name. End of story. A few days later I checked the WHOIS and noticed that their “highly valued trademarked” extension was still not registered. They made such a big deal about acquiring the .co that I was SURE they would have registered it already… Checked again a week later and nothing – then as I checked the domain for the third time – BINGO – it was registered – but NOT by them! Someone in UK seen the name, snagged it, and is now the owner of it! Boy did I get a good kick out it! I wonder if they will send him the same letter and what he will do with it, since hes in the UK and this company is in the US.. O well – not my concern!

Has a similar incident ever happened to anyone? Feel free to share!

  11 Responses to “CEASE & DESIST – Goobye .CO Domain”

  1. i really like the info on your website which gives many option of domain thank u

  2. By the way, is your name Middle Eastern by any chance?

    those admins at .co and etc, they usually steal .co domains
    from owners who do not have an american name.

    it’s pure racist crap.

    - Sumer Kolcak

    • NO – The .co I had registered was for a company dealing with options. Thanks for the comments – come back anytime! Thanks

  3. They also go after those that live in cheap
    cities, and etc in united states.

    they do not fear stealing your .co domain
    if you live in a cheap city, etc..

    i am documenting your case, trust me
    all of us humans are here to help each other
    to create a just world.

    if you let me know what the domain name was
    i’ll add it to my “hate list” on my future business models.

    you should never be afraid of publishing their names
    and etc, translucy is a must.

    when secret service came into my room they forgot
    to give me their IDs so i could publish it on the internet
    soon i am going to make a request to get their IDs…

    have no mercy for merciless people.

    it’s called “what goes around comes around. ”

    “show no mercy, get no mercy ”

    fair and just.

    bring them all down.

    - Sumer Kolcak

  4. What i would recommend is, track down all of
    their wall street friends, and let them know your story.

    your nightmares, your dreams, what got ruined
    how it made you depressed and suicidal.

    and etc etc, altho it is true, there is always a new
    way to get rich in life, you should still fight back
    not for yourself but for planet earth and beyond.

    when you let the crooks get away with the abuse
    they do to you, i have to clean them up on my own.

    it’s too much work all for one guy.

    how about do your part and behead these fukers
    for me legally speaking ?

    make legal threats.

    write legality, ruin them legally, fuk em up legally..

    Join Sumer Kolcak to fix this world.

    trust me, we can bring them all down….

    i once had a very famous web site, the whole
    world knows me, if i make a wish, they answer it.

    all you have to do is publish all of their info in this
    web page and then go on some wall street forums
    and post this article there

    and then find their wall street friends, their addresses
    they and etc, some of them live here in palo alot.

    send them letters, with your story.

    do not be another loser who lives a life with
    no real aroma or flavor .

    wake up beautiful.

    we have the right to eliminate.

    - Sumer Kolcak

  5. Notice how they use the term ” MAY BE ” in their LEGAL documents.

    they can use “MAY BE” to steal anything from anybody.

    and because they used “MAY BE”…

    it gives them freedom to abuse anybody.

    - Sumer Kolcak

  6. This is the perfect post and may be one that ought to be followed up to see what are the results

    A partner sent this link the other day and I will be desperately waiting your next write-up. Carry on on the extraordinary work.

  7. Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!

    • Thanks for the comment. Yes, I want people to know that getting a cease and desist letter is not fun – big corporations always try to slam the little guy!

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