Just about every time a big company announces the launch of a new product, people buy related domain names for a multitude of reasons. Some buy them with the hopes of selling them to another company, others want to capitalize on potential popular typos, and yet others want to offer services, forums, special offers or other information related to the product.
On November 8th, Verizon Wireless began selling the Motorola Droid, a new smartphone that has had a whole lot of positive press and reviews. I’ve seen dozens of commercials for the Droid (if not more than dozens), and they seem to be directly taking on the iPhone and other smart phones. Needless to say, the Droid will be in high demand, and people will think they can make money by buying and selling Droid domain names.
However, with this particular trademark, you really need to be very careful of the usage of related domain names. On the bottom of Droid-related pages on Verizon Wireless’ website, there is a legal notice, “DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies.”
By registering domain names with the term “droid” in it, you will probably be stepping on the feet of Verizon, Motorola, and Lucasfilm. Keep this in mind in the event that you think you might be able to make money with this mark. Obviously there are way to use “droid” in a domain name without potential liability, but I am sure there are plenty of people who don’t realize the risk of owning these with the intent of profiting off of the Droid mark, by selling, parking, or otherwise monetizing phone-related Droid names.