Today I purchased a few new domain names, which are composed of very general words. When I attempted to purchase a different domain, adventure.app, I received warning of a trademark claim.

I chose to not purchase the domain (adventure.app), in fear of losing it through the trademark claim. However, the other domains I purchased are somewhat similar, though different topics. They are still composed of one general word.

For the domains I bought, I didn't receive a trademark warning. However, I am still afraid of losing them in the future, since if "adventure" is trademarked, I assume nearly every other similar sort of name will be trademarked.

Do I have any safety in now owning these domains before there was a trademark claim? Is there a place I can check for existing trademarks?

What about future trademarks? Should I try to buy the trademarks for these domains? I assume acquiring trademarks is a difficult process. I don't care about having the trademarks, as long as the domains aren't taken away.

One last addition - if somebody wanted to claim the domains through a trademark after I bought and own them, what would be the process? Would they be required to pay me for their value? Do I have any power to claim the domains as my own, since they are extremely general words? It seems like there should be a point where names are too general to be trademarked.

Note I don't have much experience with trademarks, which is why I'm here :)

  • If you look at the trademark search, you can see that the warning was probably not given because of a trademark on the word adventure, but rather because there is a trademark on adventure.app.
    – phoog
    May 4, 2018 at 17:24
  • @phoog Thanks for explaining. Yes, I did find a trademark on adventure.app. Do you advise I purchase a trademark on my new domains to stop it from being done by somebody else? Or since I bought the domain before a trademark existed, am I safe to claim I owned the term/domain? It seems unfair if anyone can make a trademark on a previously purchased domain and then claim it as their own. May 4, 2018 at 17:31
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    "Do I advise"? No, for legal advice you need to talk to a lawyer. However, someone here who knows more about trademarks than I do might be able to explain generally the benefits of registration or the potential consequences of failing to register. "It seems unfair if...": trademark law can be surprising. If you purchase a domain but do nothing with it, and someone else establishes a business using that name, perhaps without any internet presence at all, then the other person will have a much better claim on the trademark than you.
    – phoog
    May 4, 2018 at 17:37
  • Alright, I'll talk to a lawyer. I appreciate your comments. Hopefully somebody who knows more about trademarks will be able to share additional information here. May 4, 2018 at 17:44
  • Just curious -- the domain name adventure.app was available when you (almost) purchased it, but somebody had apparently trademarked "adventure.app" before then? How do they possibly go to all the trouble of registering the trademark, but then don't bother with the much,much,much easier (and much cheaper) process of purchasing the corresponding domain? May 4, 2018 at 23:33


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