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View Full Version : Cabot's Bully Boy Behaviour - Again


Seahorse
17-07-2007, 09:40 AM
Didn't really know where to put this, but as I'm basically just having a moan, I thought I'd pop it in here.

Some of you may be aware that I recently registered the domain name, cabotfinancial.eu, and some of us were using it as a focus for our Cabot Fan Club activities.

Now Cabot have brought in a heavyweight bunch (http://www.addleshawgoddard.com/view.asp?content_id=804&parent_id=789) to try to bully me into handing over the domain name, and promise to be a good boy and not register any variations of the name. Not pussyfooting around either, as they have threatened to slap an injunction on me, and drag me through the High Court if I don't bend over and take it like a man.

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that they would need to attempt to resolve the matter amicably first? By arbitration perhaps?
And as it is an EU matter, what would the implications be for litigation? CAN they do this? And would I be able to insist that this be heard in a Scottish court?

Rant over. For now.

Lefty
17-07-2007, 10:14 AM
What domain name?

Belibaste
17-07-2007, 12:53 PM
Some of you may be aware that I recently registered the domain name, cabotfinancial.eu, and some of us were using it as a focus for our Cabot Fan Club activities.

.

Lefty, I have highlighted the relevant part of Seahorse's post :)

Dragonlady
17-07-2007, 01:29 PM
I like my email ..........@cabotfinancial.eu it really has had an impact. We have all suggested that Seahorse ask for a certain amount for every member of the CFC if they really want that domain name. Tossers....

Lefty
17-07-2007, 04:58 PM
This is a very grey area & the fact that you have used their name in the way you have could beset you with problems.:(

Lets be clear on this they are out to get you:eek:

There are 3 possible remedies

Fight it which I don't advise;)

Amend it in such a way as to make it clear it's a consumer complaint site & no direct connection to them:rolleyes:

Offer to sell it. After all it'll mean them having to spend less on legal counsel & proceedings.:D & any court would take a dim view if they waste the courts time when they have been offered it at a very reasonable price

m55dlc
17-07-2007, 05:33 PM
Forget reasonable - how about selling it for the combined value of all CFC members cases? :D

Lefty
17-07-2007, 05:50 PM
Only you can put a value on it & what might be reasonable to one might be exorbitant to another.

My advice is unless your going to fight make your offer reasonable - whatever that might be.

m55dlc
17-07-2007, 05:56 PM
You own the name, they cannot force it from you. They can take offence to what you use it for, but I would suggest you look at www.whitehouse.org and www.whitehouse dot com to see what is currently deemed to be acceptable. FYI the dot com version is a porn website, the .org is the official whitehouse website (as in President of the United States).

I think you are on a loser if you use the web address for anything they may take offence to (as you have no rights to the name). But you can sell it to them and to be honest, as you're probably doing this for the publicity angle anyway, they may just be rattling their sabres.

Lefty
17-07-2007, 06:08 PM
Sorry m they can.

The law in this area is evolving much like the internet & they have much deeper pockets I'm afraid

It's called 'passing off' & notoriously difficult to fight. I recall a chap called MacDonald who couldn't use his own name over his cafe because MacDonald's wouldn't let him & obtained an injunction

Perseus
17-07-2007, 06:14 PM
So could a statement and a re-direct link be posted on the cabotfinancial.eu site - re-directing cabot traffic, and by-passing the complaint site?
Would this not go some way to dilute their case?

m55dlc
17-07-2007, 06:20 PM
I was in mid thought when I originally posted. I thought, also, that the mechanics of a web address, and the fact that they are free to register etc, still meant that web addresses themselves can still be registered by anyone.

It is what you do with them that causes the 'conflict'

Seahorse
17-07-2007, 06:21 PM
Well, as far as I'm concerned, as it was made perfectly clear on the site that it was in no way associated or connected with Cabot themselves, I cannot be accused of passing off.

However, I am a reasonable person. So I have offered to let it go to arbitration and let the question be settled there, if they are agreeable to that. I'm sure any judge would be more than pleased to see them try an alternative to litigation before getting too heavy. After all, think what the publicity alone would do to them, if they went and tried it on in court first. And I believe there WOULD be enough national interest to get it into the press.

I'm afraid selling the name is just not an option. If they want it, they'll have to fight for it in some fashion or other.

Seahorse
17-07-2007, 06:22 PM
I'll give you all a shout once I have the site back up and running again.

m55dlc
17-07-2007, 06:26 PM
As new domains become available, companies do not automatically have the right to the new permutations, they can, though, complain about the content. If I purchase bbc.eu for example, as long as I have a right to the name and I use it for something relevant (e.g. brixton bright cabs) I am safe. If I register it and use it in the context of this thread, for example, I am open to legal action. If I register it, I am free to sell it to the company namesake.

I have a limited company. The .ltd.uk is available, as is the .com. Unfortunately, in what I do I cannot use the name as there is a plc with the same name using the .co.uk in the same industry.

Perseus
17-07-2007, 07:05 PM
So, M, is there a conflict in registering as Seahorse has, a derivite of their domain, to discuss another assosciated (by domain) site?
If so, is that why they are pursuing you Seahorse?

m55dlc
17-07-2007, 08:27 PM
If you have a domain name that is similar to another domain and you do not have a legitimate right to that name (by right I mean McDonald in Leftys example) and you then start doing something like the CFC, for example, you've just put yourself on the radar and will get bazooka'd.

If I am a cafe called McDonalds in a small village and I register McDonalds.ltd.uk as my address and operated a similar business model (e.g. food) I will most likely lose the domain. If I set up McDonalds.eu and use it to belittle the McDonalds corporation, I will be litigated to bankruptcy, and then some.

Seahorse
17-07-2007, 08:28 PM
We all KNOW why they are chasing me, and that's because they would rather the truth about the way they do business did not get out into the public domain. They would far rather their "customers" felt all cosy and secure about the Nice People At Cabot Who Only Want To Help.

And I suppose it has absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that they have so far been unable to prove I owe them money, despite their claims that I do. Because that would mean they are just a bunch of vindictive, egocentric, greedy bankers. So of course, that CAN'T be the real reason.

However, the aim of the new look site will be to allow everyone to contribute to a Cabot focused Wiki style site, with hoplefully numerous interesting articles about, oh let's see now, Meg Cabot, John Cabot, Cabot Cheese. The possibilities are endless. The new holding page pretty much explains all that...

The Cabot Fan Club Holding Page. (http://www.cabotfinancial.eu/)

m55dlc
17-07-2007, 08:38 PM
I've just clicked onto the link and you maybe able to deflect them for a while with that approach. What nails you will be the 'libelous content' :D

I'm all for turning the knife, don't get me wrong, just looking out for your interests.

Bakedalasker
17-07-2007, 09:18 PM
Well I'm going on the line of Lefty here from experience.

We used our adveraries name in our web site title. They threatened legal action and were advised to remove part of their name.

The site was up and running and its content obvious though.

We have brought loads of names to companies we are up against but thats all we have done, we have not opened other sites using those names. Basically we did this to stop them using it.

Lefty
17-07-2007, 09:19 PM
Me too M. It would be a shame if 'one of us' fell foul of these bully boys

Incidentally it's not just what you do on the site, it's just having the same clearly identifiable name that can be the problem for the site.

It gives them something for the lawyers to home in on

Seahorse
17-07-2007, 09:25 PM
Well, as there will be no libelous content, they won't have a leg to stand on in that regard.

I've also double checked on any possible intellectual property infringement. The only registered Trademark is to one Cabot Financial (Europe) Limited, who have registered the trademark, "Credit where it's due."

I would imagine that they are trying to slam the door and get it shut, but the horse is long gone. I think I've read somewhere that it can take up to 6 months for new trademark registrations to go through. So I suppose I'd better subscribe and oppose any attempt by them to register Cabot Financial as a Trademark, on the grounds that Cabot Financial in Beverly, MA, and the Cabot Fan Club are already using it, so it should be available to all to use.

Or would that be just a step too far? :D

Seahorse
18-07-2007, 08:41 PM
Oh, well. I've just been doing a bit of research. It doesn't look good.

http://www.nominet.org.uk/disputes/caselaw/index/citigroupvgpmltd/

Tamadus
18-07-2007, 10:32 PM
Personally I would park the domain name and not use it, that way there is no passing off or trade mark infringement. The only thing they can complain about is that you registered it before they did.

If they want to use it then they must buy it from you.

Seahorse
18-07-2007, 11:00 PM
All they would do is go to EURid and get the name taken off me for an "abusive registration". ie Cybersquatting.

Things are afoot. I will probably have news tomorrow.