Just reported 10 trademark violation auctions on Flippa

After a year plus of allowing the listing of blatant trademark violations at its marketplace, Flippa.com the Australian auction house for domains and web sites – finally decided to utilize a filtering mechanism.

The method of disallowing certain strings in domains was welcomed by DomainGang.

So exactly how is it implemented these days?

We searched for the following strings in Flippa auctions, landing 10 results that were obvious trademark violations, containing one or more of the following:

  • iphone
  • ipad
  • apple
  • google
  • twitter
  • pinterest

The 10 auctions that were reported have yet to be tackled by Flippa, who returned our email on two references for “Pinterest” with the statement:

“The trademarked term ” pinterest ” is not currently on our list of blocked domain names, at this time.”

It appears that Flippa does not add any blocked trademarks until the trademark holders themselves complain.

As explained by Andrew Knibbe of Flippa, that was the reason that Flippa began to block trademark terms in the first place.

So are we back to square one?

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4 Responses to “Just reported 10 trademark violation auctions on Flippa”
  1. Ophelie says:

    Hi Lucius — the listings you identified were created before we started blocking certain trademarked URLs. Since this new policy is now part of our Terms of Service, users who created their listing prior to the change can still carry out their auction.
    As you noticed, “pinterest” isn’t currently blocked, but it can easily be added to the black list once the trademark owner contacts us.

  2. Lucius "Gunz" Fabrice says:

    Ophelie – Isn’t this a “mockery” of your own rules then? You’re grandfathering violation listings, although under your new rules they would not permitted?

    Regarding Pinterest and other obvious/famous marks: this method of waiting on a notification by the tm holders first, puts Flippa in the position of being on the receiving end of litigation retroactively.

    For example, if you allow Pinterest domains to be listed until 2014, Pinterest could seek damages from Flippa for allowing listings and receiving fees for domain violations from 2012-2014.

    Using common sense does not hurt.

  3. 4093057 says:

    I visited flippa today and after about 20 minutes of scanning listings, I saw at least 10 trademark violations. Rather odd that I just saw those TODAY!

    Lucius, I agree. Grandfathering trademark violations is not the brightest idea.

  4. BullS says:

    You have to excuse people in “Down Under”- their common sense is upside down

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