Thursday, September 29, 2011

eBay violation

So received an email today from eBay about one of my domains violating one of their trade marks.  Specifically PayPal.  I was pissed at first but then realized its my own fault and they're right I was trying to profit from their domain, though i didn't mean to violate their trade mark.

Here is a copy of the email I received

date    Thu, Sep 29, 2011 at 6:00 PM
subject    Domain Name Registration - [Case #71748]
It has recently come to our attention that you have registered the domain name which mimics or contains the PAYPAL trademark.  As you must know, PayPal, Inc. (“PayPal”), an eBay company, is the leading provider of online payment services.  PayPal has extensively used and promoted the name and trademark PAYPAL since 1999 and registered it as a trademark in numerous jurisdictions around the globe, including the United States.  PAYPAL is now one of the most famous brands around the world and enjoys broad trademark rights.

We are concerned that your use of infringes and/or dilutes the distinctive PayPal trademark or constitutes cybersquatting, in violation of PayPal’s legal rights.  Infringement occurs when someone, without authorization, uses a trademark that is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark owned by someone else.  Trademark infringement occurs when this unauthorized use confuses consumers to falsely believe that the two parties are related to one-another, or that the true trademark owner is either endorsing or sponsoring the activities of the infringer.   Trademark dilution occurs when the unauthorized use is likely to lessen the distinctiveness of the true trademark owner’s famous trademark. PayPal diligently protects its famous brand through court proceedings and complaints filed with World Intellectual Property Organization’s arbitration panel.   Use of a trademark or domain name that mimics PAYPAL, or which is confusingly similar to it (e.g., a mark that uses a generic term with the distinctive PAL element of PAYPAL for services related to PayPal’s services, such as CASHPAL, MONEYPAL, PAYMENTPAL) violate PayPal’s well-established trademark rights and will not be tolerated by PayPal.

Various countries around the world, including the United States, have enacted laws which protect brand owners against acts of cybersquatting.  In the US, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act provides for serious penalties (up to $100,000 ) against persons who use, sell, or offer for sale a domain name that infringes or dilutes another's trademark.  Infringers who have been notified that their use is infringing, but do not cease, may also be considered “willful” and could be subject to additional money damages and liability for attorney’s fees. Having received this email, you are on such notice.

While PayPal respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the World Wide Web, PayPal must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous name. We appreciate that you may have registered without full knowledge of the law in this area. Nonetheless, under the circumstances, we must insist that you stop using the domain name, not sell, transfer, or offer to sell the domain name to any other person, and simply let the domain name registration expire. You also must not register any other domain names that infringe the PayPal or eBay trademarks.

Just to be clear, PayPal does not desire to interfere with any legitimate business you may be conducting. We are simply asking that you offer those legitimate services under a name, mark and domain name that is not likely to confuse consumers to believe that your company on one hand and PayPal on the other hand are related and/or affiliated.

Please reply to this email and confirm that you will comply as requested. If we do not receive this confirming email, we will have no choice but to escalate this further and take whatever action that may be required to protect PayPal's trademark rights.


eBay Legal Department

And here is my response, I'm sure they'll get a kick out of it.

It was not my intention to violate PayPal trademark in anyway.  I understand your concern about profiting from a domain which contains a PayPal trademark because of this I have removed my site from the domain and forwarded it to a domain that is not. (

Should you believe the forwarded site is in violation please contact them to resolve the issue.

If eBay/PayPal would like control of the domain I am willing to turn the domain over to eBay/PayPal at the cost of $2.15 U.S. plus registrar transfer fees if needed.

If eBay/PayPal would like further action taken please send me written documentation via the U.S. Postal Service.  I would assume that you already have my mailing address.

If no further action is taken the domain will expire 9/19/2012 and will not be renewed by me.
Thank you for making me aware of the situation.

Have a good day,

I have nothing against eBay or PayPal, I actually kind like them for the most part.  I really don't care about the domain much I mainly used it for testing things. But if they're going to take the time to go after minor issues like this we might as well have some fun with it.

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