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Discussion Starter #1
Well I have learned something in the last few days. Even if you register a business all you do is create an entity that can pay taxes.

So I registered my business in 2007 and bought my website a few months later. The .com domain was parked and quite expensive so I didn't buy it.

So anyways earlier this year someone bought the landlordrescue.com domain then they proceeded to trademark Landlord Rescue in Canada. Of course not knowing about trademarks, I failed to trademark Landlord Rescue.

From what I understand once they go through with the trademark they can prevent me from using my own company name and website in Canada. So I have to fight them.

So if you have a company name you like spend the lousy $250 to go trademark your name...

But possible the worst thing about the whole ordeal is that the company who stole my name are pretty sleazy... I get phone calls from landlords on a regular basis that are serving them with legal papers. Today I got an email from a tenant who was looking for them because they hadn't returned his security deposit after he left the place. Last week was a property manager looking to turn over her portfolio of houses.

So I have learned to respect the brain trust that is canadian money forum. Anyone know anything about this?
 

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It's called cyber-squatting or something and it was a hot market back in the 90's before companies saw any potential in the cyberwebs. Some ingenious nerds got the idea to register all the big names they could at $100 a pop, and sell them for $1,000,000's

The real benefit of registering a business imo is that it becomes a legal entity. Thus taking any liability for its questionable actions. When held accountable, it can simply claim bankruptcy and its members change the name and start over. A real gem of this system
 

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I'm no expert on the legality of it but you may have a dispute based on intellectual property if you can prove you came up with it first

I think it would be easier to change the name myself. I must be missing something with all these lucrative incorporated blogs
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's not that's it lucrative in and of itself, I don't even have any ads up that I get paid for. Its the least expensive form of advertising I've ever used and it works.

If only it were just the name... I'd change it but my site has been around for a while and I have written several books worth of blog posts on it, many of them with backlinks. I have over 16000 backlinks right now and that is what is worth the money and the page rank.

The dude has even stolen my life preserver logo and made it better but it's still my idea. Plus it isn't cheap to change all my information over.
 

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I would do two things:
1) Find out when they got the TM. If you were using it first, you have a case. Also check the jurisdiction, e.g. if they have Ontario, you could go for Canada. There are many businesses that operate in different provinces under the same name but are not related.
2) Capitalize on the calls by saying that you will handle their business better than the shody namesake. IOW make some lemonade.

Also there is a difference between a trademark and a service mark. You need the latter.
 

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Let's get this straight. Your business, which was established first, is called Landlord Rescue, right?

When you registered it, did you conduct a federal NUANS search to see if anyone else was using the name? Is your business registered in your home province, or federally? Is it incorporated?

What has this other company done? Check here:

http://www.corporationcentre.ca/docen/pns/home.asp

They should not have been allowed to register a business with the same name as yours, unless each of your businesses is registered in a different province. You might have a legal case against them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I also thought this was the case... I was wrong. Creating a business name is different than trademarking. Only the trademark protects your name and logo.

http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/opic-cipo/trdmrks/srch/vwTrdmrk.do;jsessionid=00011oyY16-0NB369a90zLzRxs-:-485M5F?lang=eng&status=&fileNumber=1498820&extension=0&startingDocumentIndexOnPage=1

This is the link to the search, had one of my readers not noticed the TM mark after their name on their website and had me look into it I might have gone beyond the time to oppose the trademark against the name. I then would have received a lawyer's letter telling me to cease using the trademark property.

Now I have to get a lawyer to fight it. Nice... plus they are shady operators and even this Friday I got an email from a tenant who had not received their money back. I get calls from owners that have been ripped off and want to serve legal documents.

If you go to their website... which has recently been put up they've even stolen my house in a life preserver logo. Which as we all know you guys helped pick months ago...

www.landlordrescue.com
 

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I can't speak for the legal side of things, but I would consider:

1) Doing nothing. Ignore the emails or send them a canned response "I'm not that Landlord Rescue". Ignore them completely.

You have your own business/brand and until they try to enforce their trademark, you don't have anything to worry about.

2) If you have to - it's not a big deal to switch to a new domain. You can do redirects which will forward all the 'Google juice' to the new domain. It wouldn't be too expensive to get Scott to do this.

How about landlordsaviour.com? ;)
 

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My wife, who's a corporate lawyer says this:

1) Write a Cease and Desist letter to them, if you want them to stop using Landlord Rescue
2) If not, you could take this to court, but you have to prove the following:
a) You were first.
b) You have to prove the people recognize you were first, and that you were providing an important service, and
c) Explain why you didn't register the trademark.
3) So it depends on how much you value your trademark, and if you are willing to pay a lawyer for that cost. Trademark is a federal jurisdiction, not provincial. It may be easier to do what Mike says above.
 

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I did a research on whois to see who the owner of the .com website is, and found this listing:

Rua Dr. Brito Camara, n 20, 1
Funchal, Madeira 9000-039
PT

I did a Google search of the name, and it shows an array of scam websites, including everything from fake loans to phising accusations, attached to that name.

The information is probably fake.

They have registered the domain name until 2019.

You can file a WIPO action to claim the domain name. It probably would not be difficult to have WIPO declare the registration invalid, and award the domain to you.

Your best bet is to join a domain name forum and ask for help there. Those guys are the experts on domain names, and there are some intellectual lawyers on the forum as well.

I would suggest Domain Name Forum or NamePros as two forums to join. (free)

I will do some digging into trademarks etc, but if they are scammers from another country, it is unlikely they would respect a trademark anyways.

Your website ranks in the first 4 domain names on Google, and your 2nd and 3rd entries direct to your warning page. I would put a warning on every page of your blog so that Google picks it up. The idea is to drive the .com off the first page.
 

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Further Google searches reveal that the registrant is involved in a whole lot of sketchy websites and there are accusations of fraud etc.

It was suggested on one forum that it is stemming from Iran.

If that is the case, intellectual property means nothing to them.

I would put paste the owner address on your website in your warning to others. Just paste it in and link to a google search:

Rua Dr. Brito Camara, n 20, 1
Funchal, Madeira 9000-039
PT
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh boy I am finding out more than I ever wanted to know about intellectual property law...

The problem as usual is money and if money was no object I could really make their life miserable.

I did contact a lawyer and they want $7000 before they even breathe on my paper work.

Still I am so lucky because actually Marina noticed the TM and I still can oppose the trademark as soon as it is published. Just the application is $750.

I have a very good case that is not the issue, but without being able to throw wads and wads of cash at it... it's not good.

I also found out about Rules for Uniform Domain Registration Policy, which can strip them of their domain name.

And I'll be looking into WIPO as well thanks :D

So I do have some protection as a common law trademark and but believe me if you are in business get yourself trademarked and don't fool around. Everyone I talk to seems to think the registering the name means something and they can't believe someone could do it.

Also interestingly enough... the person claims on their website they have 100 properties if anyone remembers this reference. Also a valued and ethical member of REIN.

As usual thanks for the help guys, my dad's friend says that in such cases a good defence is a solid offense so I'll be doing my best to open a can of whup *** from as many different directions as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Further Google searches reveal that the registrant is involved in a whole lot of sketchy websites and there are accusations of fraud etc.

It was suggested on one forum that it is stemming from Iran.

If that is the case, intellectual property means nothing to them.

I would put paste the owner address on your website in your warning to others. Just paste it in and link to a google search:

Rua Dr. Brito Camara, n 20, 1
Funchal, Madeira 9000-039
PT
Of course it's involved in a bunch of sketchy websites its a domain registrar anonymizer so no one can easily find them I think. Weird that a legitimate business would use such a thing. It's bizarre.
 

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Ewww. This gives me the heebeejeebee's. It sounds like they are trying to do more than steal your name and trademark, they are trying to benefit from your good reputation and following. To me, that is a form of identity theft and should be illegal - though I have no idea if it is.

Have you contacted them as a potential client? Do they represent themselves as actually being you?

Creepy.
 

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It seems this guy has been in property management for a while. Here is a link to his other website which looks very identical to the new website except the new site has your company name and eerily-similar logo.

He has videos on youtube about property management dating back to January 2009. It seems he is a former NHLer from Alberta.

I hope you get your name back.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah it's just bizarre and falls under the I don't need this sh$t category :eek: honestly I have real issues to deal with like growing my business until I'm filthy rich.

I have just contacted a professor of law in trademark and domain name infringements and threw myself on his mercy perhaps he and his students can help with this.
 

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BTW putting a TM after the name is used during the application process. It gets serious when granted and the circle R is used. I think a letter to the authorities would help prohibit the granting of the mark. Just prove that you have a legitimate claim to the name. A cease and desist letter to the perps would also help your case as you are acting to protect your business.

Changing your name will not prevent them from doing the same thing with your new name...
 

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... He has videos on youtube about property management dating back to January 2009. It seems he is a former NHLer from Alberta.
this is electrifying information imho. An nhl star doing this to a hardworking legitimate small business owner ?? unbelievable.

but if it's true, perhaps he could be shamed out. Several people putting pressure on the nhl might help here. Find out his church, his community, etc. Go for him. Plus the media would love stories like this.

last thought: any chance this guy could be what's-his-face who trolled after berubeland here in this forum a while ago.
 

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I don't anywhere on that site any ownership info that identifies a former nhl player.

You should get in touch with the guy, but keep in mind that his identity could have been stolen or site hacked. Don't automatically assume he's the bad guy.
 

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I don't anywhere on that site any ownership info that identifies a former nhl player.

You should get in touch with the guy, but keep in mind that his identity could have been stolen or site hacked. Don't automatically assume he's the bad guy.
You are right, just because it's his picture and name are on the website, doesn't mean he knows someone is using his likeness.

His name and photo are on the website. I googled him and found the youtube videos and NHL info.

Maybe he owns the company that owns the website?
 
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