Shreveport, LA asked in Consumer Law, Copyright, Products Liability and Trademark for Louisiana

Q: Cartoon series called "The Ratman Chronicles". I buy the domain name - "www.ratman-chronicles-toys". Will I get sued?

I'm working to sell children's toys online as an affiliate marketer of Amazon.com. I am trying to determine if I'm legally allowed or permitted by The Ratman Chronicles authors/owners to feature the same words as are in the TV series title itself as a part of my domain name I purchased in order to sell Ratman toys based off the characters of the TV series itself.

All I'm doing is including the words "ratman" and "chronicles" in my domain name to drive web traffic searching for Ratman Chronicles toys to my Ratman Chronicles toy website to make a commission from any "Ratman Chronicles" toy sales via Amazon.com. I do not own any Ratman toys; all Ratman sales would be transacted by the retailer - Amazon.com in this example.

I'm not trying to suggest I own The Ratman Chronicles. I'm just using the keywords to attract Ratman Chronicles fans to my Ratman toys website to sell more Ratman Chronicles toys.

2 Lawyer Answers
Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Products Liability Lawyer
  • Wyomissing, PA

A: The domain name I believe is OK. Thre rest of it is murky and you'd really need to get some advice to avoid major issues.

Will Blackton
Will Blackton
Answered
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. The cybersquatter then offers to sell the domain to the person or company who owns a trademark contained within the name at an inflated price.

You should reach out to an attorney in your state with experience in this practice area.

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