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Copyright Domain and trading name

 
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Kateryna0104
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:43 am    Post subject: Copyright Domain and trading name Reply with quote

Hi, I'm after some advice. We have a limited company registered under QP Online Ltd - selling Land Rover car parts. We have recently registered a domain name: landroveressex.co.uk which we will be using for our internet shop to sell these parts. So this domain name will be displayed on our website and on invoices and things like that as trading name. Someone has told me that we must be careful as we might be breaching some copyright laws as we use the name Land Rover ... Could you advice on that? Thank you in advance. Regards, Kateryna
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kateryna,
First of all I should point out that the URL you quoted is live at the moment, but with dummy text etc, so it might be worth asking your web developer to mask the site from the public until it is fully completed.
I assume from what you have said that your company is not a Land Rover dealership for parts, and that the parts you sell are not genuine Land Rover parts, but those manufactured by third parties. If that is so, then yes you may have a problem over the use of the trade mark Land Rover in this context.
Land Rover own an extensive range of registered trade marks covering all sorts of areas of use, but specifically from your company's point of view, Class 7 which includes "... Parts and fittings for motor land vehicles and for their engines; machine tools and dies, all for use in the motor industry... "
So you need to be careful at all stages of your advertising to make it clear that the parts are for use in Land Rovers, and not mislead people, even initially, that you are selling genuine Land Rover parts (unless of course you are, in which case there's no problem). This applies to things like search engine optimisation to improve your Google ranking. And in particular the URL you have registered does give the outward impression that your business may be authorised by Land Rover.
The normal means by which Land Rover could take action over the URL is through the Nominet domain name dispute resolution service. You will see from their FAQs and other information that at first sight, Land Rover would have reasonable grounds for raising a complaint, and would possibly have a reasonable chance of getting a decision in their favour. This would mean you would forfeit the domain name but normally there would be no other penalty*, unless Land Rover felt it worthwhile to bring a case in the courts against your company for 'passing-off', but I think that is much less likely.
If you are selling genuine Land Rover parts, then you are in a much stronger position although in theory Land Rover could still object to the domain name.
The other possible problem you might face is a complaint from a Land Rover dealership in Essex, such as Lookers. Incidently I note that their Chelmsford website is hosted by Landrover.co.uk
I suspect that you may save yourselves a lot of hassle and potential expense by finding another URL for the company. If you do decide to go ahead with the original URL, it might be advisable to get further legal advice.

* but there may be some costs associated with the resolution service - see the Nominet site for more details.
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Last edited by AndyJ on Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick follow-up, although not directly related to your query, I thought this recent decision in the High Court might be of interest: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Patents/2012/2099.html. It concerns a third party spares supplier who trod on BMW's intellectual property toes, with fairly serious consequences.

Also, here is a report of a case which has some similarities with your position, albeit I assume that your registration of the URL was not for the same motives: Musical Fidelity Ltd v Vickers (t/a Vickers Hi-Fi). It shows what action could ensue if Land Rover wanted to play rough.
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Kateryna0104
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for such a detailed advice. Just to clarify, we do sell original/genuine Land Rover parts as well as those manufactured by third parties. We will advertise all of these parts on our website stating the manufacturer very clearly.
My partner seems to be sure that if we use the domain name as it is, basically without spaces then it won't be similar to the actual Land Rover.. I'm not so sure:).

We really like this domain so would be very reluctant to give it up if there is a chance that we might be ok to use it.
Thank you for the links, I will read thru them.

Regards,Kate
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AndyJ
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kate,
Thanks for the clarification over the genuine Land Rover spares. I think that in view of that fact, it would be difficult for land Rover to bring a case for passing off, simply because you are not misleading the public over the source of the spares.
The domain name issue really just depends on Land Rover's attitude. Bringing a domain name dispute claim is very easy and cheap, so if they feel the need to do so, there is little disincentive. Hopefully that won't be the case and you will be OK.
Good luck with the business.
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Kateryna0104
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much! Your advice has been very useful!!
Best Regards, Kate:)
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