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Domain Legal Advice


Subscribe to Elliot's Blog“I’m not a doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.” I admit it, I still get a kick out of those commercials. Even when they aren’t on television, I am reminded of them when I visit the legal section of some domain forums. Not only do many people ask some serious legal questions, but I’ve seen some misinformed answers. For people who rely on the advice of non-lawyers, I think you really need to take the answers with a grain of salt.

Don’t get me wrong – there are many smart people who want to help out and give advice to a legal question, especially when a large company threatens a small company who has rights to a domain name. However, unless the question is answered by an attorney who specializes in IP law, and more specificially, has experience in domain-related matters, I think those who are watching the answers need to be cautious.

Although I try to give a conservative opinion when pressed, I really try to advise people to seek the opinion of an attorney when it comes to domain legal matters. Even a response that may seem benign could cause damage to a person’s case or legal standing. While there are always obvious answers, it’s best to turn to a lawyer for legal advice.

Since I’ve been asked this question many times, here are a few lawyers who I’ve met and/or worked with in the past for various legal matters:

John Berryhill

Brett Lewis

Ari Goldberger

Stevan Lieberman

Steve Sturgeon

Howard Neu#mce_temp_url#

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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Comments (4)



    Howard Neu


    Yes – I don’t know how I forgot Howard. I spent a good deal of time speaking with his son Ray last week :)

    September 28th, 2008 at 3:36 pm


    I got a more comprehensive list for you, Elliot:

    Some of them were recommended by John B himself. And I forgot Sturgeon so I’m updating that shortly, thanks!

    September 30th, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Trond M.

    While on the subject; what do you recommend in terms of responding (or not responding) to c&D letters?

    I recently received yet another one, the third one over the past year or two, for the same domain name. Until now, I haven’t bothered to reply at all, since the domain name isn’t crucial to my company in any way, or particularly valuable in my opinion – besides, it is made up of generic terms and I don’t belive they have a case at all.

    This time however, it seems like the language is becoming even more threatening, and I wonder if I may actually incur some kind of legal costs or be liable in any way, should they actually decide to go to court (with the huge lawfirm they seem to have working for them)? I should mention that my company is based in Europe, not in the US which is where the would be reverse domain hijackers (as I see them) are. What do you recommend?

    September 30th, 2008 at 2:45 pm


    Trond, I suggest you talk to a lawyer. :)

    September 30th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

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