Killed by #Google: Does this #domain pass the “fair use” requirement?

When it comes down to using famous brands in domain names, the basic response is: Don’t do it, bro.

Most such cases end up in a swift UDRP decision favoring the Complainant – the company whose trademark was infringed upon.

But is there a “fair use” instance that would permit such famous, or less famous trademarks to be used in domains?

We are not lawyers, but there are a couple of times that using a trademark in a domain is considered fair use:

  • Classic fair use: When someone elseโ€™s trademark is used to refer to the user’s goods or services.
  • Nominative fair use: When someone else’s trademark is used to refer to the mark owner’s goods or services.

Of course, all this is legal mumbo jumbo to us, but you can read more about it here.

Killed by Google – Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

An example of fair use can be seen at the domain name – a repository of services killed by Google. Well, not exactly killed but terminated after a decision was made that they offered no benefit to Google, despite what the users said.

So “Google” is the trademark here, and the domain is quite possibly acceptable as it references the Google goods and services that have been terminated. If not, we’ll see a UDRP in the near future, but hopefully that’s not going to happen. ๐Ÿ™‚

The list of services and products killed by Google is shockingly long, and today yet another service has been added, Bulletin.


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