Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • AOL Sues for Trademark Infringement

    1. BY - Aug 18, 2009
    2. Policy & Law
    3. 37 Comments

    AOL stretches its trademarks beyond belief.

    Apparently AOL thinks it owns every domain name that is some variation of “Advertising”.

    The company just filed a lawsuit against was formerly known as until it bought the domain name for an undisclosed price earlier his year.

    The lawsuit claims:

    … recently commenced use of the virtually identical and confusingly similar designation and design in connection with the same and complimentary services as those offered by Plaintiffs under their federally-registered name and marks and their name and marks.

    AOL claims this could cause confusion amongst people who think is endorsed by or affiliated with AOL’s and trademarks.

    Of course, AOL’s claim of trademark rights to is dubious at best. The company is struggling to get approval for the trademark with the USPTO. AOL has never owned the domain name, but has called its unit in the past.

    AOL’s claim to mark is part of the reason that the $1.4M sale of fell through and is subject to a lawsuit.

    A search of the USPTO database shows that AOL has three registered trademarks for, but all are design trademarks. Based on recent cases for challenged trademarks such as, the company would not be able to get a trademark simply for the word “Advertising” on the principal register.

    Lawsuit complaint is here (pdf).

    Hat tip George Kirikos.

    Update: also filed suit against AOL, perhaps as a preemptive lawsuit.


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