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Anyone know about legal rights

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by greenbrucelee, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    A friend of mine used to work for company fixing pressure washers and cleaning equipment aswell as selling them. He decided to set up on his own and being the top guy where he worked he took a lot of custom away from his boss.

    He set up a website to advertsie his business and is doing okay for himself he has even taken more custom away from his old boss.

    His old boss has bought the domain name of the website my friend was using to advertise the business and he has changed the phone number on the website to come through to his company and not my friends.

    My friend has been told that there isn't much he can do although he can try to fight it in court but there is no guarantee that he would win and obviousley it would cost him money that he hasn't got. His old boss has money and can afford good solicitors where as my friend is a one man band and can't.

    Does anyone know of anything he could do? or is this just the nature of the top people beating the smaller guy down?
     
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  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Why did he let the domain name registration lapse?

    I can only think that he may try going through WIPO to see if they can do anything, how long since the lapse? are we talking days, weeks or months?
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I don't know about how long the lapse was I can only assume that my friend did not realise the domain name only lasted a certain amount of time.

    I doubt he knows about WIPO he said he had contacted his solicitor and trading standards and they said there wasn't much that could be done.
     
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  4. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    If the domain lapsed and the competitor purchased it 'legitimately' (i.e. they didn't con the registrar into releasing control of it to them) then there's no recourse I'm afraid. He could employ a lawyer, who may well win the case, but there's no guarantee of this - and I've never heard of a 'no win no fee' lawyer who deals with domain disputes.

    Chalk it up to experience, register a new site, do it all properly, and take the hit for new business cards, promotional materials etc.
     
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  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    The only thing I can think of my friend does is too keep an eye on when the domain name registration lapses again and he buy it back and change the phone number again and then to keep in mind that it will lapse again again. would that be a good idea?
     
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  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    it was done legally as far as I am aware, would what I suggested above be an idea?
     
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  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Yeah - but it's probably been registered for two years... so unless your mate is prepared to wait that long, just tell him to move on.
     
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  8. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I think it's time your mate jogs on and sets up a new domain name/site.

    He would have recieved reminder emails from the Domain Host, but he has chosen to ignore them or maybe he cancelled his email address.

    Anyways the result is the same.
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    thanks for the advice mate, I'll let hgim know what you said.
     
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  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    he didn't cancel his email or not see the emails as he never switches his computer on :D
     
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  11. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Then really he only has himself to blame, the website should be his focal point and I just hope he has learnt his lesson here, websites need updating and registrations need renewing.

    Unfortunately this 'lapse' has cost him customers, which will have cost him money.

    The only thing I would look into is if the new owner is using the old website design, perhaps he could sue them for passing off?
     
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  12. supernova

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    nominet (if uk tld) does have a disputes procedure he could look at.

    Most companies also resister domain names as a trademark this would add protection from other companies using them.

    are you saying that he a copied or used the original content and just changed the number?

    if he has let it expire there isn't a lot he can do unless he registered the trademark etc

    many people try this trick to get domains of competitors... you have to be on the ball
     
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  13. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, letting the domain lapse was a serious oversight.

    However, if your mate can prove that the domain name is somehow fundamental to his business, as in almost a copyright, then he may be in with a chance. It's going to be difficult if he and his old boss are in a similar game though.

    'Internet law' has changed a lot over the last few years, and in all honesty, there are very few fixed rules. Every case in an experiment into new ground.

    As of late, if I registered www.madonna.tv in order to sell DVDs, and the famous singer contested the action, she would probably win. After all, in 'reasonable' terms, the name Madonna means more in relation to her than it does to me.

    So I would say that it comes down to the business and the domain name. If the domain is www.powerwashersforsale.co.uk, then either party has an equal chance if they both sell power washers. However, if your mate is called Dave and has had a company for a number of years called 'Dave's Powerwashers' and has had the domain www.davespowerwashers.co.uk then in all probability he will win if his ex boss isn't called Dave.

    It really comes down to cost.

    Is the amount that your mate has spent advertising the domain, and the business he gets from it worth the fight and legal costs? Only he can know that.

    If he's put a couple of ads in the local paper, it's probably not worth it. If he's spent money on SEO and Google then it might well be.

    I wouldn't advise fighting it just on principle though...
     
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  14. supernova

    supernova Gigabyte Poster

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    was he getting a lot of organic (serps) and direct (people type in domain into address bar) traffic?
     
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  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    ...and that's just for the *chance* that he won't renew it. I agree with Zeb: he should get a new name and not make the same mistake the next time.
     
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  16. Leehaa

    Leehaa Gigabyte Poster

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    That is really clumsy with the domain name.

    You get loads of warnings leading up to the time it is going to expire and most people owning one would be aware of the expiration date for the very reason that they don't want someone else pinching it.

    He'd have to be switching his computer on like once every two months to miss it (i'm sure we got warnings about it at least 3 months before the expiration date).

    Tell him to get a better domain name and keep track this time. If that guy was watching the current one closely enough to take it when it expired, they certainly won't 'lose track' of it like your friend did.
     
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  17. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

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    Whats been said above really, I have any domain that means anything set to auto renew so its down to someone else to keep track of them on my behalf. I still check them to make sure though!
     
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  18. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    advice taken guys I will let him know what you lot have said.
     
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