Recently there were number of stories on Flippa trademark and how it can be used to go after domains with the word “flip” in them. I must say that I strongly disagree.
While, I am not an attorney, I can tell when something just doesn’t feel right. Flip or Flipping are dictionary words and last I checked, you can not obtain trademarks for dictionary words, unless you combine two or more words or create your own brand, like Flippa.
Flippa is granted trademark on the their brand, “Flippa” and I agree that any domain that contains “Flippa” may be considered as infringement on the trademark. But I don’t think that just having word “Flip” in your domain name is going to be an issue. Sure anyone has the right to sue.
Now if you have something like Flippex, I think that’s a gray area. While it is similar to Flippa, it’s not exactly the same. And if you’re in a different market all together, you may even be granted to have your own TM on Flippex. But again, this is a gray area and I’d say whoever has the bigger budget to fight this will win.
But Flip or Flipping is a different story. Keep in mind that those words are used a lot in domaining industry and in many others. And they don’t refer to Flippa marketplace. So technically, you can start your own marketplace with a domain that has Flip in it.
I know I have number of Attorney readers, please feel free to comment on this issue. I think this is an interesting topic and not for Flippa but just in general, as a domainer this is a common issue that we have to face with. And it is important to know the facts and the law.
I also have to say that when starting your own brand, don’t go after something that’s similar. Who wants to have all that headache even if you’re right? You want to have a unique brand without any trademark issues or even potential issues.
Hope you’re enjoying your weekend