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08|19|2009 03:48 pm EDT

AOL Wreaks Havoc On Advertising Domains

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Up to the Minute

The headline at TechCrunch says it all: “AOL Thinks It Owns All Advertising Domains”. The company is not only partly responsible for the $1.4 million sale of Ad.com falling through, but it is now suing Advertise.com for trademark infringement and unfair competition based on the domain name similarities to AOL-owned Advertising.com.

As reported at Domain Name Wire, the lawsuit claims:

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

AOL believes that this could cause confusion for anybody who thinks Advertise.com is affiliated with AOL’s Advertising.com or Ad.com trademarks. The Ad.com mark, by the way, is not based on AOL’s ownership of the domain name (which it has never owned), but rather related to the company calling the Advertising.com unit “Ad.com” in the past.

In the court filings, AOL orders Advertise.com to pay for damages, gains, profits, advantages, and costs… plus “change its corporate and legal name to one that does not incorporate the term ADVERTISE.COM, ADVERTISING.COM, AD.COM or any term confusingly similar thereto”.

And remember, AOL doesn’t own Ad.com or any trademarks directly related to Advertise.com. Bizaare.

[via TechCrunch]

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17 Comments

Twitted by primevisibility

August 19, 2009 @ 3:55 pm EDT

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[…] Excerpt from: AOL Wreaks Havoc On Advertising Domains | Domain Name News […]

Aron

August 19, 2009 @ 4:09 pm EDT

This is freaking rediculous.

If this is the case, I’m going to
start calling my auction site
Auctions.com, just for the H3LL of it
and then sue Auctions.com for existing in the first place.

Absolutely freaking idioticly rediculous.

scott neuman

August 19, 2009 @ 4:10 pm EDT

Who would think that my domains ad4tise.com and ad4tize.com might get me sued by aol for TM issues.

Ritz

August 19, 2009 @ 4:18 pm EDT

WTF!?!
this is a flabbergastingly disgusting move by AOL!

no, .. seriously.. can’t I register AD.mu or ADVERTISE.mu or ADVERTISING.mu as well?? would that too be confusingly similar.. or AD.cm or ADVERTISE.cm

time to put America On Line OFFLINE imho!

domaining related lawsuits is getting out of hands..
can the owner of ONLINE.COM please sue them since this is very confusingly similar to America Online!

Twitted by dnnews

August 19, 2009 @ 4:19 pm EDT

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David J Castello

August 19, 2009 @ 4:34 pm EDT

I see a landmark case coming up.

Jamie Parks

August 19, 2009 @ 4:45 pm EDT

I’m guessing the .ad gtld is off the table now – darn it…

[…] Excerpt from:  AOL Wreaks Havoc On Advertising Domains | Domain Name News […]

Sumbini Rondon

August 19, 2009 @ 7:28 pm EDT

Another attempt of a big corporation bullying a smaller individual or company to try and get their way, the easy way. It is ovious that AOL is steamed that Advertise.com is a much better domain than “Advertising.com”

All those who know this is an unfair bullying tactic by AOL should openly boycott all of AOL services… especially Advertising.com and Ad.com

storm cloud

August 19, 2009 @ 8:00 pm EDT

Great chance for the domain industry to learn US law. An uneducated (law) person would laugh at this but there is a strong case here. Its about time the domain industry opened its eyes to TM law and the rights of existing businesses to protect their investments.

The small guys didn’t do their due dilligence and chose to mess with a bull in this case.

The domainers might unite, but brand owners and the law just might prevail.

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August 19, 2009 @ 10:50 pm EDT

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August 20, 2009 @ 12:11 pm EDT

I’m glad to have visited your blog and good to know you! I find it interesting and informative.

Anthony

August 21, 2009 @ 9:16 am EDT

Storm, how did Advertise.com infringe on their copyright? Its two different words, and two different domains. If AOL wanted to control both they should have bought both earlier. So if I buy Marketing.com, does that mean you or anyone else cannot buy Market.com, or Markets.com because you’re infringing on my TM. This is going to get thrown out by any judge on the first day in court, absolutely ridiculous…

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