Do the Right Thing
A few days ago I acquired a great product-related domain name using Sedo. I saw the name at a good price, and I bought it after doing some due diligence, including a Whois History search and a quick search of the USPTO database. All of this came back without any problems, so I bought the name. As I’ve mentioned, I have been selling some domain names lately to pay off the cost of the Burbank.com acquisition, so I emailed a few clients and acquaintances offering this name for a good price.
Several hours after I sent the email, one of my acquaintances emailed me back with a listing from the USPTO. Unfortunately when I was searching for “this product” in the USPTO database, there were no listings; however, a search of “thisproduct” as a single word would have yielded the result. The product is similar to “Band Aids” in that other products in this category are often called “this product,” although it is less common than Band Aids, and the product has only been around for 5-6 years – about the same time as the industry. I emailed the original owner of the domain name (since 2003) and he told me he never received any inquiries or other communications from the TM holding company.
I am no better than anyone else, but I don’t feel comfortable owning, monetizing, or selling this domain name. I don’t want to potentially create a problem for someone else, even though all indications are that this domain name won’t cause a problem, since it’s been free and clear for over 4 years. I have taken this domain name off the market and changed the DNS from Fabulous, even though the name received about 8 uniques a day in the 2 days that I monetized it.
People often tell others to do things that they haven’t tried or wouldn’t do. It’s very easy to tell someone else how they should be managing their business, but it is much more difficult to actually do things sometimes. I am going to email the people to whom I sent the original message, and I will let them know that the name isn’t for sale. While I will lose several hundred dollars on this, I will sleep better knowing that I am doing the right thing.
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