I registered the Internet Domain Name offshore.com in November 1994. In 1995, I got the following demand letter (which I posted to Cyberia-L a net list for lawyers). In January, 1997 Network Solutions put offshore.com on hold because of the trademark dispute. NSI has adopted the new Domain Name Dispute Resolution Process developed by ICANN and has said that on-hold domains will be released "during the first quarter of 2000." After release, PennWell will be free to proceed against me again. NSI informed me by letter that offshore.com would be taken off hold on 29 March so I assume it is now unencumbered. I may use it to start a major offshore information site or I may sell it. I'll let you know.
Here is a free sample of a Domain Name Trademark Infringement demand letter so you all won't have to work up a sweat drafting one. Be sure to file the serial numbers off before using it.
BTW, *my* offshore refers to Offshore Investing. I take it their's refers to oil wells.
STUART, BIOLCHINI, TURNER & GIVRAY
330 FIRST PLACE TOWER
15 EAST FIFTH STREET
TULSA, OKLAHOMA 74103-4340
FAX (918) 582-3033
November 7, 1995
VIA Certified Mail
Return Receipt Requested
332 Bleecker Street, No. F-34
New York City, NY 10014
Dear Mr. Frissell:
Our firm serves as counsel for PennWell Publishing Company "PennWell"),
which owns and publishes Offshore magazine. PennWell first registered its
trademark "Offshore" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office
under Registration No. 840510 on December 12, 1967. Over the past 28 years
PennWell has expended substantial amounts of time and money to establish and
promote the "Offshore" name throughout the world.
It has come to our attention that you have registered the name
"Offshore.com" as a domain name on the Internet. It is out opinion that the
unauthorized use of the trade name "Offshore" violates PennWell's rights to
the protected use of its trademark under federal and state law. Your use of
the domain name "Offshore.com" as an Internet on-line computer address is
trademark infringement in violation of 15 U.S.C. P1114. It is further
likely to cause confusion as to the source or sponsorship of such Internet
address in violation of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act and common law.
Under general principles of trademark law, it is irrelevant whether Frissell
Associate had the intent to infringe on PennWell's mark. Liability for
trademark infringement depends not on intent, but on the likelihood that the
similar trademark will cause confusion. Obviously, the potential for
confusion inherent in Frissell Associates' use of PennWell's mark is
Accordingly, unless we receive written representation from you by November
30, 1995 that Frissell Associates will cease and desist from all use of the
name "Offshore," we have been instructed to commence legal action against
Frissell Associates in order to assert and affirm PennWell's right to its
protected use of the "Offshore" trademark, and to terminate the confusion
that results from your unauthorized use of "Offshore" in the Internet. Such
lawsuit would include demands for injunctive relief, money damages for lost
profits, costs, and attorneys' fees. While it is PennWell's desire to
attempt to avoid litigation to resolve this matter, PennWell cannot afford
to allow confusion in the marketplace or among readers and advertisers of
We anticipate hearing from you or your counsel on or before November 30,
1995 to resolve this matter and to avoid the unnecessary time and expense to
both parties if legal proceedings are required.
Very truly yours,
Robert F. Biolchini of
STUART, BIOLCHINI, TURNER & GIVRAY