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Thread: Internet Trademark email - spam or scam?

  1. #1
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    May 2007
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    Internet Trademark email - spam or scam?

    I recently got an email from a domain registration company in Hong Kong who said

    Dear CEO,

    We are a domain name registrar centre in HongKong, and in charge of the registeration in Asia,We have something important need to confirm through your company.

    We received a formal application from a company called "Ply International Holdings Ltd" applying to register

    Internet trademark:

    my-domain

    And the domain names
    my-domain.asia
    my-domain.cn
    my-domain.com
    my-domain.com.cn
    my-domain.com.tw
    my-domain.hk
    my-domain.net.cn
    my-domain.org.cn
    my-domain.tw

    in China and also in Asia on Jun.20 2008.

    During our auditing procedure we find out that the alleged "Ply International Holdings Ltd" has no trade mark,Intellectual property, nor patent even similar to that word. As authorized anti-cybersquatting organization we hereby suspect the alleged "Ply International Holdings Ltd" to be a domain grabber. Hence we need you confirmation for two things,

    First of all, whether this alleged "Ply International Holdings Ltd" is your business partner or distributor in Asia

    Secondly, whether you are interested in registering these domains. (The alleged "Ply International Holdings Ltd" will be entitled to obtain a domain not needed by original trademark owner.)

    If you are not in charge of this please transfer this email to appropriate dept.in order to deal with this issue better, please let someone who is responsible for trademark or domain name contact me as soon as possible.

    Best Regards,

    Jane
    I'm not the person to respond to anything which looks fishy, if you catch my drift. But I have been wondering to myself what the point of this email was, if it had one at all. I own my-domain.co.uk untill the end of this year at which time I will renew it for another two years. I have no interest in buying any of the other TLD's. If ply international holdings ltd buy up all the domains that they want and start to run the world do they have any rights over my-domain.co.uk because they have the internet trademark my-domain, if their is such a thing?


  2. #2
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    First, a few things:

    There is no such thing as in "Internet trademark". Trademarks are governed by each separate nation, not "the Internet".

    There is also no such thing as an "authorized anti-cybersquatting organization". Again, that is regulated by individual governments and ICANN.

    For a company that is trying to be serious, they sign it "Jane"? No, not quite.

    If this is not your "business partner or distributor in Asia", then I wouldn't worry about it. And if you want any of those domains, DON'T TELL THEM, as they'll register them and try to sell them to you.
    Lee

    ""Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."" -- Sir Winston Churchill

  3. #3
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    There is however, something along the lines of the 'international intellectual property something-something' that was going around and winning cases against 'cybersquating' domains/websites on names that judiciously belong to "intellectual property". -that is to say, if "Johnny" is a bailbondman that gives "Cash loans" to get people out of jail prior to trial, he CANNOT own a website called "Johnny Cash", because that name, -while maybe not 'trademarked' or 'patented' (although I am sure that it is), that name 'belongs' to the late Johnny Cash, signer/musician.

    And that touted "olympic" suit is probably still ongoing... only "The Olympics" can use "olympic", leaving tradesmen, cab-companies, bakeries, etc etc facing possible legal action if they do not change their name...

    Famous story of the band "Chicago". Used to be called "Chicago Transit Authority", after the Mass Transit system of that fair city. Well, CTA -the transite system, threatened to sue "Chicago Transit Authority" the band to change their name, which they decided to do. They checked to see if "Chicago" had been trademarked... NO, -it had NOT!! So, THEY trademarked the name "Chicago" for themselves! (but, have vowed to NEVER suit against the city for their untrademarked/unregistered name...)

    One of the last sites to profit from 'cybersquating' was maybe "monicalewinski.com" I beleive. -The first time her name was run through the news, someone with aforethought registered it as a domain and later when the whole sortid story broke and her name became front page household news, sold the domain for some big money.
    I think domain was later 'taken away' from the purchaser, but the 'seller' sold it legally at the time and was of course, untouchable..

    But yeah, -that e-mail? High confidence that it is scam.
    Last edited by WebJoel; 06-30-2008 at 07:00 PM.
    I build for: Firefox and tweak for IE

  4. #4
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    May 2007
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    9

    resolved

    I did think it was a little suspicous but its always good to learn more about something you don't know much about.

    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Another Internet Trademark email from Asia

    Got this this morning in my mailbox. Very similar to the previous already discussed. Special attention that an application to register was received by them June 30th and I got the email just a few hours later.

    The guy or girl signing the email (without surname), firms with telephone and fax, emailaddress to respond to and includes an (existing) website of his/her company. Emailadress used is almost similar to the domain name but not exactly the same. Their business deals with domain name registration.

    Googling a bit I can't find the name of the company (Varletry Int Holding) on Internet

    What do you think?

    ------------------------------------------------

    Dear CEO,

    We are an organization specified at dealing with domain name dispute and registration in Asia. We have something important need to confirm with your company.

    On the June 30, 2008, we received an application formally. One company named "Varletry International Holdings Ltd" wanted to register following
    Domain names:
    my domain.cn
    my domain.com.cn
    my domain.hk
    my domain.hk
    my domain.tw
    my domain.tw
    my domain.asia
    Internet Trademark:
    my domain
    through our body.

    After our initial examination, we found that the keywords and domain names applied for registration are as same as your company's name and trademark. These days we are dealing with it. If you do not know this company, we doubt that they have other aims to buy these domain names. Now we have not finished the registration of Varletry International Holdings Ltd yet, in order to deal with this issue better, Please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.


    Best Regards,

  6. #6
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    It's a scam, delete and ignore it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebJoel
    There is however, something along the lines of the 'international intellectual property something-something' that was going around and winning cases against 'cybersquating' domains/websites on names that judiciously belong to "intellectual property".
    Yes, but, again, that was an agreement between governments, not "the Internet".

    Quote Originally Posted by WebJoel
    -that is to say, if "Johnny" is a bailbondman that gives "Cash loans" to get people out of jail prior to trial, he CANNOT own a website called "Johnny Cash", because that name, -while maybe not 'trademarked' or 'patented' (although I am sure that it is), that name 'belongs' to the late Johnny Cash, signer/musician.
    True in some cases, not in others. It's a very fine line because many courts have held that just because it's your name doesn't give you an automatic copyright.

    Quote Originally Posted by WebJoel
    Famous story of the band "Chicago". Used to be called "Chicago Transit Authority", after the Mass Transit system of that fair city. Well, CTA -the transite system, threatened to sue "Chicago Transit Authority" the band to change their name, which they decided to do. They checked to see if "Chicago" had been trademarked... NO, -it had NOT!! So, THEY trademarked the name "Chicago" for themselves! (but, have vowed to NEVER suit against the city for their untrademarked/unregistered name...)
    Yes, several years ago someone realized that "Happy Birthday" was not copyrighted nor was it in the public domain and ... they copyrighted it.

    All of these things add to the reasons why people get scammed by companies like these. There is no hard line in many areas in cyberspace.
    Lee

    ""Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened."" -- Sir Winston Churchill

  8. #8
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    May 2009
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    1

    Internet trademark - now what?

    When I got the email described in the thread, I contacted my attorney who suggested I ignore it; another friend who's an internet businessman suggested I reply simply. I took the latter's advice, before checking here.

    Below is my reply and their replies. I'm not sure what to do now. My inclination is to ignore it. Please confirm if you can.

    Would it be best to mark the sender's address as Junk or put it on my blacklist?

    Thanks!
    juschecking

    From them (#3):

    Dear ---,

    About the these domain names and internet trademark "----", pls let us know your decision. If you give up, we will help HKMILI Holdings Limited register these domain names and internet trademark,Because HKMILI company want to register these names and he today call us for this issue, so we need your affirmation.

    But if you think these domain names and internet trademark "-----" are useful for your company, we can help you,we can send an application form to you and help you register these within dispute period.

    Pls let us know your decision soon, so that we can handle the next step.

    Best Regards,

    Michael.Hu

    Confidentiality Notice: If you are not the addressee you may not copy, distribute or perform any other activities with this information. The information contained in this e-mail is intended only for the party to whom it is addressed. This e-mail may contain confidential information. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify us by e-mail immediately.
    West Technology Limited
    Tel: 00852 95 660 205 / 00852 95 660 103
    Fax: 00852 30 197 872
    E-mail:Michael.hu@dnrcenter.hk
    Web:www.wtl.hk.cn

    ----------------

    (#2 from them):

    Dear ---,

    Thanks for your response.
    We knew you have registered the domain name "-----.com" and own the intellectual property, this is why we informed you. But other domain names and internet trademark you have not registered yet.
    Now HKMILI Holdings Limited wants to apply the following domain names and internet trademark:
    1. Domain Name:
    ---.asia -----.biz -----.cn ------.com.cn
    ----.hk -----.net ------.tw -------.us
    2. Internet trademark: -------

    You must know Domain name and Internet trademark takes open registration,this is international domain name registration principle. So HKMILI company has right to register them. As a domain name registrar, we have no right to dispute their application. So required by China government to inform your company to protect your interest.

    So expect your definitude direction.If you don't think their application will affect your company, you can give up these domain name and internet trademark, we will finish their registration. Because HKMILI company want to register these names.
    But if you think these domain names are useful for your company, we can send an application form to you and help you register these within dispute period. Because you are the owner and you have the priority of registration.
    Pls let us know your decision soon, so that we can handle the next step.
    Best Regards,

    Michael.Hu

    Confidentiality Notice: If you are not the addressee you may not copy, distribute or perform any other activities with this information. The information contained in this e-mail is intended only for the party to whom it is addressed. This e-mail may contain confidential information. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify us by e-mail immediately.
    West Technology Limited
    发件人:
    发送时间: 2009-05-21
    收件人: michael.hu
    抄送:
    主题: Re: --- Trademark Urgent Message (To CEO)


    From me:

    Dear Michael,

    I did not initiate the application and don't need any more extensions.

    I am the owner of ------.com and will object to any infringement of
    the domain.




    On May 19, 2009, at --- AM, michael.hu wrote:

    > Dear President/CEO,
    >
    > We are a domain name registration service company in Asia, which
    > mainly deal with international company's domain name registration
    >

    etc....

  9. #9
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    May 2009
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    1
    This scam is being done well. On initial searching the web two things came up that make it difficult to confirm it was a scam. The company name and the Subject line did not turn up any red flags in Google or the main scam websites (hopefully they will soon, though I’m sure the company name changes). All I got in Google from their slogan and company name (china internet service provider yiguan it ltd) was their rather legitimate-looking website. Only on finding this forum thread (searching Google for "internet trademark") was I able to nip it on the bud.

    I don't have time but someone should send the major scam sites to this thread.


    Here’s what we received from them today (I removed our company info for privacy):


    From: Mike Xia [mailto:mike@ygdns.org.cn]
    Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 11:49 PM
    To: Customer Service
    Subject: The Confirmation and Protection of Intellectual Property

    Dear Manager:

    We are a Domain Name registration service company, which is the domain name register center in Shanghai,China.

    We have something important need to confirm with your company. A formal application here dated on May.26th,2009 from Meihua Group requested "[ourdomainname]" as their internet Trademark and CN/Asia domain names on internet .

    After our initial examination,we find this name conflicts with your company. We send this email to the owner who have used this name and hope to get the affirmation of your company because that may relate to your internet intellectual property.

    Now we have not finished the registration for this company, so we send this mail to your company and need to confirm whether this company is your company's partner in China. In order to deal with this issue better, please let the someone who is responsible for this matter to contact us as soon as possible.Thank you!

    Mike Xia
    Auditing Department:
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    China Internet Service Provider:
    YIGUAN IT LTD
    Tel : 0086-021-6296 2950
    Fax: 0086-021-6296 1557
    Web: www.ygisp.cn
    Address: 866.Yishan Road Xuhui District,Shanghai.China


    I replied as follows:

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for contact us and respecting our integrity.

    That company is not affiliated with us in any way. We have been using that name in our domain an product for many years and we plan extremely large worldwide marketing and distribution of our product in the coming 1-3 years, so we appreciate anything you can to do help prevent conflicts and confusion. We do not want to hinder another company from making progress. However, our use of the name is extremely well established. They can still make changes without any harm to their business because they are only starting to make their name public.

    I greatly respect your company for being so diligent and respectful.

    Thank you again.

    Very best regards,


    And, then I got this as a reply:

    Dear Jay:

    Thanks for your reply

    Meihua Group want to apply the following domain names:
    [ourdomainname].cn
    [ourdomainname].com.cn
    [ourdomainname].asia
    and the Internet Trademark "[ourdomainname]"

    Because China domain names takes open registration, the domain name stays available, who registers it first, who owns it. So MeihuaGroup or every other
    third party all has right to register it.

    According to the newly registration principle As a domain name registrar, we have right to dispute their application.So required by China government to inform
    your company to protect your interest.As the company whose trademarks relate to the applied domain names, you will get the priority to register these domain
    names and internet trademark.

    If you think their registration will confuse your clients and harm your profits, we can send an application form to you and help you register these within
    dispute period. This is the only way to prevent domain name grab.

    If you need, we will send your company an application form to fill in and help your company remain the priority to register these names.

    Best regards!

    Mike Xia
    2009-05-27

  10. #10
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    Jul 2009
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    1

    Same Scam, different company

    See below. I googled "can you register an internet trademark?" and thankfully found this forum thread before we replied to this email! I was pretty sure it smelled like a scam, but it's a pretty smart one and guaranteed to make any decent web/interactive firm nervous. Beware!!! (p.s., like others, swapped out our domain name for confidentiality's sake )

    ---------


    From: Sky [mailto:Sky@eworld.hk]
    Sent: Monday, July 20, 2009 9:32 AM
    To: info
    Subject:mydomain --Intellectual Property Rights & Trademark Notice ( TO CEO)
    Importance: High

    Dear CEO,


    We are a domain name registration and dispute organization in Asia, which mainly deal with the global companies' domain name registration and internet Intellectual property right protection. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.

    On July 19, 2009, we received an application formally. One company named "Millter International, Inc" wanted to register the internet trademark “my domain” and some domain names "mydomain.asia, mydomain.hk, mydomain.com.cn etc." through our body.

    Now we are handling with the registration of these domain names and find that the keyword of these domain names and internet trademark is identical with your company's. So we have to confirm with you at two points:
    1. If your company consign Millter company to register these domain names and internet trademark, we will send application form to them and help them finish the registration at once.
    2. If your company have nothing to do with Millter company, they maybe have other purposes to register these domain names and internet trademark.

    We haven't finished the registration of Millter company yet, and we have postponed this application of this company temporarily already. In order to deal with this issue better, please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible. If you are not in charge of this please forward this email to responsible person. Thanks for your cooperation and waiting for you reply.


    Best regards,

    Sky Huang
    Vice Manager
    Auditing Department
    -------------------------------------------------------

    Hongkong Headquarter:
    : Tel: +852-2297-9279
    : Fax: +852-2297-9209
    : Email: sky@eworld.hk
    : Web: http://www.eworld.hk
    ________________________________________
    Confidentiality Notice. This is a letter for confirmation. If the mentioned third party is your business partner or distributor in ASIA please DO NOT reply. We will automatically confirm application from your business partner after this audit procedure. we have to notify you, and our registration organization are not responsible for any dispute questions about trade mark, intellectual property nor patent after they succeed in registration. hope you can understand. thank you.

  11. #11
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    Sep 2009
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    what is the scam exactly?

    I just got a similar email from a different company in hong kong. I don't get what the scam is? Could someone get all these other domains that are similar to mine and trademark it and put me out of business? Isn't that a legit issue?

    I replied to the first email which asked me if I had hired the company to register these other domains for me because they were doing a trademark search. My domain isn't even trademarked but do I have to get a trademark to protect it from someone who wants to trademark it?

    help - confused!

    Jono

  12. #12
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    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1

    I just received one of these too. Here is what I did.

    I just received one of these too. The wording is very similar to those listed above. It is interesting that they clam another company is requesting to register domains that I already own and have been pointing to my web site for years and are completely current! The letter contained a list of domains allegedly desired by this other company, but they put a space after the “.” In all the domains like this: www. xxxx.com with the space before the first x. I nearly had a heart attack when I clicked the links in the letter and saw all these open to 404 error pages instead of the pages I thought they were aimed at! I found the space and realized that it was a hoax.

    All the domains but two were working and pointing to my website as they should. I was able to register the two other domains for a few bucks with another registrar and I now regard the matter closed. This is a pretty good scam that allows the scammer to sell highly overpriced domains to the unwary, when they can be purchased from other registrars for a lot less.

    Iron Man

  13. #13
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    Nov 2009
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    Reply: I don't get what the scam is?

    The scam is they get you to register your domain with China's extension.

    ie..

    domain.com
    domain.net
    domain.org
    domain.cn

  14. #14
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    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6

    internet trademark scam 2009

    Hi, I just (Nov. 2009) got one of these for the first time; it had me worried that someone was claiming the rights to my domain:

    Dear Principal,

    We are a professional organization mainly engaged in Internet intellectual property management in Asia. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.On November,24, 2009, we received an application formally, One company who called Abbey Holdings Ltd.are applying for following:
    The Internet trademark:
    pubhub
    Domain names:
    pubhub.hk
    pubhub.com.hk
    pubhub.jp
    pubhub.tw
    pubhub.com.tw
    with our organization.

    During our preliminary investigation, we found that these domain names' keyword is identical with your trademark. I wonder whether you consigned Abbey Holdings Ltd.to register these domain names with us? Or is Abbey Holdings Ltd.your business partner or distributor in Asia?

    We haven't finished the registration of Abbey Holdings Ltd.yet, and we have postponed this application of this company temporarily already. In order to deal with this issue better, please contact us by telephone or email as soon as possible.Waiting for your reply ASAP.

    Best Regards,
    Dragon

    Sponsoring Registrar:
    SKNETDNR
    Tel: +86 216995 0101
    Fax: +86 216995 0106
    Email: Dragon@sknetservice.com
    Website: www.skdnr.org

    I googled "internet trademark" and found this thread. It is a scam to sell useles domains, get your info or both. Not even worth Googlebombing the asociated websites, as there will be too many of them, though it would be good to come up with some way of blacklisting them.
    I love web standards; there's so many to choose from

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    1

    Internet trademark scam 2009

    If anyone is doubting that this is a scam, please check the links below. One is the claimed website of the company making the offer to save a company from cybersquatters in one of the posts above, the other is the claimed website of the company that sent us an almost identical email...
    http://www.wtl.hk.cn/
    http://www.skdnr.org/

    ...you may see a similarity!

    Why would a company set up two identiacl sites under different identities unless they were scamming?

    Hats off to them though - it's a clever scam which I'm sure will net them some dollars from unsuspecting and nervous companies.

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