Can my domain be claimed by the owner of the other domain for any legally valid reason? 6 Answers as of July 26, 2013

I am planning on starting a small business and have registered a domain name www.XYZabc.com. After registration I found a website www.xyz.com based in Canada doing a different kind of business than the one I have in mind. Will this cause problems for my business in the long run? Please help.

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Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
Your domain name is different. There generally shaould be no proble. However depending on who has what trademarked, it may not be that simple. Please search further.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 7/26/2013
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Technically, they are two entirely different legally-registered domain names for two different businesses in two different countries. However, given the international nature of the Internet, it is possible that there will be some confusion for customers. You will want to stress in all your advertising and publicity your full domain name.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 7/26/2013
Law Office of Kirk Buhler
Law Office of Kirk Buhler | Kirk A Buhler
Potentially yes. If you want a good example visit the domain nissan.com to see their battle with Nissan Motor Corporation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 7/26/2013
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC
Malhotra Law Firm, PLLC | Deepak Malhotra
I would not be so worried about their domain as their trademarks. If either XYZ or abc is a trademark of someone else, and you are selling similar goods or XYZ or abc is a famous mark, then yes you should worry. They could get the domain name away from you and could sue for damages.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 7/26/2013
Barton Barton & Plotkin
Barton Barton & Plotkin | Maurice Ross
Your problem is not with your domain. Your problem arises under trademark law. The issue is whether your use of this domain name (and the trademark embodied therein) could cause consumer confusion with the company that is located in Canada. You have made a colossal mistake here. You branded your company and chose its domain name prior to retaining legal counsel to conduct a trademark clearance. Any small business must involve legal counsel in the branding process at the earliest possible stage. Otherwise, the company may find out that it has to change its branding after investing substantial sums into the branding decision. You need to retain legal counsel to help you lay the proper foundation for your business. If you do not have sufficient funds for legal counsel, then frankly you are not ready to operate this business. I am certain that this issue is just the tip of the iceberg-you undoubtedly will face dozens of other equally difficult intellectual property law issues. Even small start-up companies must retain work closely with legal counsel. If your problem is budgetary, then you need to raise money from outside sources to lay the proper legal foundation for your business. The JOBS Act provides new opportunities for small business to raise money. One of the reasons you need to build a relationship with counsel is so that your counsel can guide you regarding money-raising opportunities.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 7/26/2013
    Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. | Ernie Linek
    Domains can be taken over by another party - under limited circumstances. Typically the second domain is a sham - not a legitimate business - and the owner offers to sell the domain to the first party for an outrageous sum of money. Such bad faith tactics can lead to the loss of the second domain to the first party - under the uniform domain name dispute resolution rules of ICANN. However - two legitimate businesses - each operating under similar domains - can co-exist without problems.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 7/26/2013
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