Author Connie Suttle

Author Connie Suttle:
Urban Fantasy/ Young Adult

Friday, April 19, 2013

Trademarking and Price Gouging


I am currently in the process of trademarking subtledemon and difik. The reasons for this are ones I never thought I'd be facing.
First, I kept receiving emails from an individual somewhere in Asia, telling me that someone was looking to buy/register subtledemon as a domain name in Asian countries. What did I know about registering a domain in Asian countries? Nothing.
I still don't know a lot, but it appears that you have to have a business or business connections in Asia to register a domain in Asia. Yeah, I started sweating. Did I think this was a ploy to bilk money? Yeah, I thought that too.
While I have no interest in connecting to or running a business anywhere except where I am, I figured I ought to protect myself as much as possible. I already had domains purchased/registered for subtledemon.com, .info, .net., .org, .biz, .co, .mobi and .ws, so what's a person to do?
I started the process to trademark not only subtledemon, but difik, because I'm selling merchandise through/under both. Hopefully that will go through, but it takes nine months to go through the trademark process, and who knows what might happen?
My good friend/proofreader/part-time assistant, Joe, suggested I also lock up difik as a domain name, since we were looking to do the same with it—trademark, etc.  It was a good idea. HOWEVER—
Difik.com had already been purchased and was available for AUCTION, at a minimum bid of $200. I was a bit upset, as you might imagine, because you can buy a domain name for around $10 a year. Maybe less. I called the company I buy my domain names from, and asked them what this meant. They explained that somebody else had bought/reserved difik.com. They didn't say it, but it was likely somebody who intended to sell it at a profit.
Yes, I ended up offering a little over the asking price. This morning, I received a counter-offer—for $1400. No, thank you.
Yesterday, I went ahead and purchased difik.biz, .co, .info, .mobi, .net, .org, .us, .me and .ws. In other words, all the others I could get my hands on, because unlike difik.com, they were available. And I'm still going forward with the trademarking process for difik. I also had all those domain names linked to subtledemon.com. Go ahead, do a search for difik.net. You'll go straight to my website! If somebody wants to use difik.com for $1400, feel free (after paying $1400 of course). If it's a business, good luck on getting all the other domain names—I have those. I can't imagine an individual paying $1400 to use difik.com, but if they want to be gouged, I have no control over that. If the trademark goes through, I don't know what implications that might have, but we'll see.
Honestly, I write much better (and easier) when I'm not so angry I can spit tacks hard enough to attach shingles to a roof. I never imagined, either, that coining a word or phrase could result in so much teeth-gnashing and agony. Live and learn. They'll never know, too, that I've been calling them difiks for at least twenty-four hours.
Keep on trucking, everybody. You guys (as always) are awesome!

13 comments:

  1. I read this awhile ago, so I'm posting it for you, I am not sure if it will help you. http://www.create-legal.com/932/internet-domain-names-part-2-acpa-and-udrp I read another article that I cannot find now, that when someone files for a patent people use whats on the patent to buy up potential domain names.

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  2. Connie, I could spit tacks with you! After all your hard work! I hope the others all go right for you.

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  3. My Mom had some issues like this many years ago when she published a series of children's bible puzzle books. After much wailing and gnashing of teeth (and spitting of tacks) they finally got it all straightened out. Not sure what or how they did that unfortunately and it's kind of a moot point since I'm sure the laws have changed greatly in the last 30 plus years.

    Sorry your having trouble with idiots and hope the trademarking process goes smoothly from here on out !

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    1. thanks--I hope things get better for sure.

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  4. People who try to scam money out of hard working people like this deserve a special place in hell

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  5. So sorry you have been attacked in this manner. As you probably know this type of con has been around since the inception of the internet. Does not make it any easier to accept. Sounds like you have covered every angle you can now to protect your IP.

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  6. I have had several of the Asian registrars try this with our company, this is mainly a scam ... they want large $$$$ for no return. Unless you plan on becoming a multi-national company the best advise is ignore them.

    Difik.com has been reserved for over 7 years, so I doubt it is aimed at you, it has dropped four times so it might pay to back order it with your registrar (should be a free service).

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    1. thanks, Larry!
      I got no response from the Asian registrar after I informed him my attorney was trademarking and copyrighting. I have a back order already on difik, so we'll see how that turns out. Either way, it'll hopefully be trademarked soon and maybe that'll be the end of it.

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  7. I hope this all gets straightened out so you can go back happily to what you do so amazingly well, writing. There are so many people out there only interested in the almighty buck it becomes wearing trying to keep an eye on everything about your life.

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  8. See I'm a bit late to the party, but for future reference:

    http://www.welivesecurity.com/2012/07/24/asia-domain-name-scams-still-going-strong/

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