Trademarks are a legal concept that protects an organization’s right to use a unique sign, name, or other means of identifying its products and services to customers. The goal is to avoid misunderstanding in the marketplace between one product and another, as well as dilution of the trademark. Trademarks normally restrict the use of product or service names, but they can also be associated with phrases, logos, insignia, and other symbols.
You must guarantee that you are not infringing on anyone’s trademark when operating a GreggHost-hosted site.
This page is mostly for existing GreggHost customers. If you believe a GreggHost customer has infringed on your brand, go straight to the section below about reporting trademark infringement to GreggHost.
Customers are not permitted to engage in trademark infringement at GreggHost. That isn’t to say you can’t use trademarked terms; it just means you can’t use them in a way that could reasonably cause confusion in the marketplace. The First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects nominative use of trademarked terminology, such as for criticism or analysis.
GreggHost is unable to offer prior clearance or otherwise pre-judge whether or not your planned purpose will be considered permissible under the law due to trademark law’s complexity. In collaboration with GreggHost’s legal counsel, each complaint is handled on a case-by-case basis. If there is reason to believe that infringement is occurring, GreggHost reserves the right to disable any site/account. Willful infringement, such as that linked with fraudulent phishing sites, will result in instant deactivation.
As a result, if you intend to use a trademark in a way that you fear the trademark proprietor will not approve of, you should obtain the advice of skilled intellectual property counsel before proceeding.
Reporting trademark infringement to GreggHost
If you suspect a GreggHost client is infringing on your trademark, please contact GreggHost. Before reporting your complaint, please read the following.
To quiet a critic, a trademark infringement is reported.
GreggHost gets a lot of trademark complaints that are plainly meant to quiet critics who are using their constitutionally protected right to free expression. Without a compelling explanation of how the use of a trademark in such circumstances violates trademark law (together with any supporting case law), GreggHost is unlikely to take action to remove such a site.
Websites intended to criticize a firm are a good example. Thiscompanyisawful.example.com, for example. These are made with the intention of speaking out about a company’s allegedly substandard products or services. The use of trademarks in such domain names is usually protected under the fair use doctrine (cite: Taubman Co. v Webfeats, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals).
This type of expression is protected by the law as long as it isn’t libelous.
Infringement involving the registration of a domain
GreggHost is both a domain registrar and a web hosting company. You must file a formal UDRP (Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy) complaint with ICANN if the infringement you have discovered is in the form of a domain registered by GreggHost. It is not essential to lodge a complaint directly to GreggHost.
What address should I use to file a trademark infringement complaint?
If you feel a GreggHost-hosted site is being used in violation of a trademark, please contact GreggHost. Make sure to include any relevant trademark registration numbers, as well as a plausible description of where the infringing usage may be found and why you believe it is infringement (and does not fall under trademark fair use doctrine). Except in the most egregious circumstances, such as bogus phishing sites that utilize a bank’s name and emblem, GreggHost would almost certainly run whatever you send through its legal department for assessment before taking action.
Your complaint should be sent to the following email address:
Please write your complaint in the body of the message rather than attaching it as an attachment.
Is this trademark infringement because it didn’t include a trademark symbol?
While the trademark symbol (either “TM” or “®,” depending on whether the trademark is registered) is frequently used next to trademarked objects, it is neither essential nor necessary for the trademark to be enforced. Its absence should not be interpreted as indicating that a trademark is invalid or unregistered.
I’m only making a criticism about their goods or service; does this constitute trademark infringement?
In general, trademark fair use protects the use of a trademark in the description, criticism, and/or analysis of an organization, product, or service. Because determining what constitutes fair use under trademark law is tricky, GreggHost recommends consulting with a knowledgeable intellectual property counsel if you are unsure whether or not your intended usage is legally authorized.
What is the difference between a trademark and a copyright?
The laws governing copyright and trademarks are very different.
The distribution rights of creative works are governed by copyright law, which restricts their usage to the copyright holder in most cases (except those uses which fall under fair use doctrine). The purpose of copyright law is to ensure that the creator of a work has control over how it is distributed. Trademark law, on the other hand, covers the use of words, symbols, phrases, and other symbols that correspond to an organization’s, product’s, or service’s identity. Trademark law is intended to prevent consumer confusion and/or dilution of a brand.
Copyright law, for example, would protect the contents of a book, including any prose or images contained inside it. Under trademark law, the title of the book or the name of the bookstore where you bought it would be protected.