One of my clients runs his own business and has been issued legal papers by the owner of a seaside development where he owns a number of properties.
I need to change the names to make this a bit anonymous but if the owner has trademark on a development called, for example, The Quayside or something similarly generic, can he object to someone having the domain name thequaysideholidayhouses.co.uk?
Seems to me that the domain name refers to an address (presumably an address cannot infringe a trademark) and a legitimate description of the business.
Would like to offer some advice on whether he has a strong case for objecting and would really appreciate any advice, knowledge or similar experience.
Many thanks in advance.
You client should talk to a solicitor familiar with trademark law. It is often very difficult to assess whether it will be a problem, but it is impossible without knowing the actual names in question.
As Alex said it depends on various factors such as the class of trademark, the similarities of the businesses, how long the trademark has been held and how long the website has existed, if people might be confused as to whether there is an affiliation between the sites, and many more.
No-one can really give advice on situations like this without all the facts, so you would need to contact an IP lawyer to investigate this if you are concerned really.
Probably not what they’ll want to hear but makes sense.
Appreciate you taking the time to respond.
If the name or brand could be confused with the trademark holders business, then it would be deemed a trademark violation (even in the website address), you could lose the domain name or have legal action taken against you under the cybersquatting laws (or relevant intellectual property legislation). However if what you offer relates in no way to the business where the trademark originates you’re probably fine. In this case, the URL you provided could be seen as potentially damaging to the trademark as it could easily be confused with the business owners properties, therefore you’d be in the wrong. IANAL but I hope that’s helpful