Avoid these words to avoid legal headaches.
Two years ago, the domain name frisbees.com was auctioned off at GoDaddy.
It seemed like a big area. We all remember throwing a Frisbee as kids and maybe even adults.
But there is a big problem: Frisbee is not a generic name for these flying discs. It is a registered trademark.
Investor/domain developer Peter Askew pointed this out at the auction:
Dear current and future domain name developers,
This domain appeared in GoDaddy Auctions.
No doubt, pretty name. Seems almost generic. But it’s a trap.
It is a heavily protected Wham-o brand. Even mentioned on the wiki page.
Strongly suggest avoiding this one. pic.twitter.com/Tsvho9f1J0
— Peter Askew (@searchbound) July 5, 2020
There are many words we use that seem generic but are actually trademarks.
In addition to Frisbee, here are six words that may sound generic but aren’t. Be careful when buying domains with these words.
Realtor – This is the most common word I see tripping up domain investors. In fact, I even fell in love with this one many years ago. I thought Realtor was the generic name for the person who helps you buy and sell real estate. But in the United States, it is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors. He’s not too vigilant to sue him, but he sued to protect his trademark. He has also won UDRPs against AustinRealtors.com, MillionDollarRealtors.com and other domains including the brand.
Rollerblade – I grew up rollerblading and playing roller hockey. We called all the skates Rollerblades, and most of them at the time were indeed the Rollerblade brand. But these are actually inline skates and Rollerblade is a brand.
Hot Tub – My family purchased a hot tub this year, but did not purchase a hot tub. The generic term is hot tub or spa; Jacuzzi is just one of the hot tub brands.
Ping-Pong – This is technically table tennis. Escalade Sports currently owns the brand.
Taser – I’ve seen this in a handful of areas people put up for sale. A lot of people use it generically (he tasered it), but you should know that it’s trademarked by Axon.
Band-Aid – You might want to put a bandage on it, but it’s really an adhesive bandage. Although I see games on it, it doesn’t come up much in domain names. Johnson & Johnson owns the brand.