1

I recently answered this excellent question on the Software Recommendations SE: Method/Software to rename multiple files in ascending numerical order regardless of file type?

I just noticed the username of the person who posted the question: "amazonprime". I got a good chuckle out of the clever name, and moved on.

Then my curious mind started to wonder: "Could using such a name be a violation of law?"

Well, I have no idea, so I figured I would ask here.

I see two possible issues:

  1. The use of the word "Amazon".
  2. The use of the words "Amazon" and "Prime" together.

Is either a legal issue?

(Personally, I hope not, because I think the choice of username is clever and humourous.)

I won't be using my moderator status to look up the user's jurisdiction just to ask this question. Would that detail even matter?

4

If the person uses that name "in commerce" then it could be a violation of the "Amazon Prime" trademark.

Trademark law is often based on the "common sense" doctrine. The question the court would ask themselves is "could a common sense person come to the conclusion that this user represents the company Amazon.com Inc.". Depending on the behavior of the user and the context in which they operate, this might be a grey area. But it could become a black area as soon as they offer goods or services which Amazon might provide (which is pretty much anything, considering Amazon's if you can buy if with money, you can order it from amazon.com business model) or even claims to be a representative of Amazon.

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  • Thank you for your answer, Philipp. Can the converse be concluded: if the person does not sell things (Amazon's specialty!) and does not claim to be a representative of Amazon, are they free to use that username? – RockPaperLz- Mask it or Casket Oct 7 '20 at 18:02
  • @RockPaperLz-MaskitorCasket A trademark violation requires use of a trademark for the purpose of misleading customers of goods and/or services into believing that the are dealing with the trademark holder or a licensee of the trademark holder. Potentially there could be a cybersquatting issue. But it isn't automatically a TM violation and context matters. A username that nobody sees but the user is surely fine. – ohwilleke Oct 7 '20 at 22:12

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