I'm a software/web dev, and I had an idea for a joke website. Since all of the variations with the word "news" I would like are taken, I thought I'd just replace it with "shoes."

A few things worth noting:

  • I'm in the US.

  • It is not a parody of an existing website and does not defame anybody.

  • I did a quick search of the trademark database, and it doesn't seem to infringe any trademarks.

  • I would put a small Google ads banner towards the top of the page, so it's possible that I could make a profit from it.

  • But the url is still similar to another website's, simply with the name "news" replaced by "shoes." This website is currently occupied by a cybersquatter.

  • There's another url that it's kinda/sorta similar to, which is also occupied by a cybersquatter.

Is this something that I could be sued for?

  • 2
    Wait, so is there an actual website operating under that name or is it merely the fact that the domain is registered? I'm not sure trademark would even apply to a cybersquatter. Trademark is meant to prevent brand confusion, but that's not possible if all they own is a domain because there is no brand to confuse it with. They're not providing anything on the domain, just holding it. – animuson Jul 1 '17 at 1:51
  • It's just registered. There's nothing actually there except the "You can buy this domain" stuff. – Andrew Jul 1 '17 at 2:26

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