Steer Clear of Rolex Domain Names

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I noticed a number of Rolex related domain names up for auction at NameJet today and several have bids. If you are contemplating a bid on any of these names, I want to share a story which will hopefully dissuade you from backordering one or more names.

When I first started buying and selling domain names, I saw a number of trademark terms for sale on Ebay that looked like they had bids and were selling. I thought it would be a great idea to hand register some product domain names related to famous brands to sell to licensed retailers or possibly the company. Mind you, this was around 2003-04, so the concept of selling exact trademark .com names had already been tried and I was late to the “party.”

Long story short, I hand registered a couple of Rolex related domain names. Shortly after the fact, I received an email from the general counsel of Rolex asking or demanding that I turn over the Rolex domain names. Fortunately, I was too scared to ask for any compensation since that likely would have ended badly, and I gave the domain names to the company immediately since there was no doubt that the names infringed on the brand.

The moral of this share is that Rolex seems to vigorously protect its brand, and you might want to think twice before bidding $59+ on a Rolex related domain name. It could get you a UDRP, but it could also land you a lawsuit, depending on the mood of the company and its lawyers.    

7 COMMENTS

  1. Many of these backorders are by MarkMonitor. The same can be said about “kindle” and “amazon” related domains via Pool and NameJet etc.

    I thought it was odd so many backorders would be placed for “Rolex” domains but after I tracked a couple.. the backordered domains were by MarkMonitor, picking them up for there customer Rolex.

    I agree though, a lot of newbie domainers will buy TM domains and 9 times out of 10 it leads into legal trouble or simply a wasted investment.

  2. Small correction, Rolex uses CSC and not MarkMonitor.

    TopRolexWatch.com is an example of a recent domain. The domain went PendingDelete, CSC BO’ed it and grabbed it for Rolex. They grabbed at least 6 on 7/25.

  3. @Elliot

    A few years ago I requested a quote on behalf of a client for a domain management service through MarkMonitor, and it was north of $22k / month.

  4. And some people think Netsol is too expensive 😉

    I expected that Markmonitor wouldbe high but not that high. On the otherhand i do not know what offer for 22k a month, coulbe cheap also.

    OT i recall a few rocket siencetists a few years back who regged a dozen of gucci related domains.. they went straight to gucci asking them how much the domains where worth to them… They were rather miffed when they got got a letter from their lawyers to hand over the domains.. When i told them that was a rather dumb move on their part they had this look like water turned into fire…..

  5. @Theo

    They will monitor a trademark by scanning the registry for possible registered matches, generating reports, and providing advice on what the client needs to do in each case. Their target market is fortune 500 and upper-end corporations – entities that can afford the fees. The monthly fee does not include taking legal action against infringers. It’s priced separately.

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