I’m busy creating the world’s longest blog post on my holiday to Rome (look, I know you’re interested really!). But in the meantime, I thought I’d share this email that I got yesterday as it may affect you.
To Whom It May Concern,
We are writing concerning your registration and use of the domain name facebookfanpagefundamentals.com, which contains the famous Facebook trademark.
As you undoubtedly know, Facebook is the leading online social network service. Facebook adopted the name and trademark Facebook in February 2004 and, since that time, Facebook has actively used the Facebook name and trademark in connection with its online social network service, including maintaining the web site www.Facebook.com. The term Facebook is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet. Facebook owns exclusive trademark rights to the Facebook name as a result of numerous trademark registrations in the United States and internationally, as well as related common law rights. Accordingly, Facebook enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.
Facebook has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its services. As a result of Facebook’s pioneering efforts and devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality services, the Facebook name and trademarks are widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.
Accordingly, we were concerned when we learned of your registration and use of facebookfanpagefundamentals.com. As we hope you can appreciate, protection of its trademarks is very important to Facebook. Your registration and use of facebookfanpagefundamentals.com violates the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.) because it infringes and dilutes the famous Facebook trademark.
Infringement occurs when a third party’s use of a company’s trademark (or a confusingly similar variation thereof) is likely to confuse consumers as to the affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement of the third party’s services. Trademark dilution occurs when a third party’s use of a variation of a company’s trademark is likely to lessen the distinctiveness of the company’s famous trademark.
We have filed several proceedings before the United Nation’s World Intellectual Property Organization’s arbitration panel. Facebook has prevailed in each case and the domain names at issue were all ordered to be transferred to Facebook. Facebook is concerned that your unauthorized use of the Facebook name may cause confusion as to whether you or your company’s activities are authorized, endorsed or sponsored by Facebook when, in fact, they are not.
We understand that you may have registered facebookfanpagefundamentals.com without full knowledge of the law in this area. However, Facebook is concerned about your use of the Facebook trademark in your domain name. As you may know, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act provides for serious penalties (up to $100,000 per domain name) against persons who, without authorization, use, sell, or offer for sale a domain name that infringes another’s trademark.
While Facebook respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, Facebook must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, Facebook must insist that you immediately stop using facebookfanpagefundamentals.com and disable any site available at that address. You should not sell, offer to sell, or transfer the domain name to a third party and should let the domain registration expire.
Please confirm in writing that you will agree to resolve this matter as requested. If we do not receive confirmation from you that you will comply with our request, we will have no choice but to pursue all available remedies against you.
So, as I’d bought this domain from NameCheap, I contacted their support desk, as I wasn’t sure whether this was even a legitimate email. No surname on the email or anything, but still. I’ve seen enough scams in my time, but this didn’t look particularly scammy, so I thought it was best to check.
Their reply was not the most helpful:
Thank you for contacting Namecheap!
Unfortunately, we cannot give you any legal advise here, for reasons very obvious. We strongly suggest contacting your lawyer(s) in regards as this can be handled only by them.
Thank you for your kind understanding.”
So I replied to the original email to say that there wasn’t anything on that domain at present (my own fault, I haven’t finished creating the product yet), and that I would do as they requested & leave it blank & let it expire next April (or whenever my renewal is.
Now, whether it’s a hoax email or not, I just thought it was worth sharing that Facebook are very protective over their brand, and that if you have that within your domain name then they may well try to shut you down.
Anyway, let me know what you think about the above – I’ll feel pretty silly if it’s a hoax, but I thought it’s better to share it just in case it isn’t.
Right, now I’m going back to carry on writing my Rome blog entry…
Until next time (with pictures and everything!!)
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