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The Internet

Toys R Us Isn't Toying With Gus 81

NutBat writes "News.com has an article about Toys "R" Us threatening legal action against a guy named Gus Lopez who runs a site with the domain toysrgus.com for his Star Wars toy collection. It seems that he will be backing down." It appears that Gus' website did not sell anything despite the .com suffix, although I have not been able to confirm this. The letter sent to Gus is on his website, and is worth reading. Ajax.org and veronica.org were resolved due to public pressure. Perhaps this one will be too? Toys R US has a customer service page
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Toys R Us Isn't Toying With Gus

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  • by Anonymous Coward


    Toys R Us has a much more respectable position
    here than ajax or veronica did. I think I'd back
    them on this one, rather than Gus.

    John
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How could anyone back Toys R Us in this instance?

    Let's face the facts here people. Toys R Gus represents NO threat to the business of Toys R Us. His site hurts them in absolutely NO way whatsoever, it does NOT infringe on their trademark (just because you choose a similar name does not constitute infringement), and in short, they have no reason to pursue this action other than the fact that 'they can'.

    This isn't really about infringement or trademarks I'm sorry to say.

    Toys R Us has NO right to pursue this action in any sense. No damage to business or reputation. No infringement of trademarks. The question is, why do they do it? The answer: Because some lawyer noticed it, and said, "hey, we can pick on the little guy here."

    You should definitely give Toys R Us the slashdot effect on their customer service page for this. Somewhere, a line must be drawn. This is becoming all too common. Some company nails the little guy with threats of a lawsuit because he has a domain name that can be viewed as an infringement of some sort. They may have no legal backing of this, and it may not fly in court, but they figure they can just do it with a threat, so why not give it a shot?

    This happens once a week now, damnit! We have to stand up and say, "This will not do. We cannot stand anymore of this shit, it's time for ACTION!"

    otto - who's getting fucking sick of it all.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    there was a big flap a while ago wherein Radio Shack was threatening to sue the hell out of Bianca's Smut Shack ( http://bianca.com [bianca.com] ) it was resolved when approximately 1.6 x 10^23 different angry emails to the effect of "i used to buy components and stuff at Radio Shack, but now you suck so i'll buy them from someone else" were recieved. there were a coupla protest-pages, in fine anti-Radio Shack form, and RS just dropped the whole thing. this was about two years ago it think.... their concern was the use of the word "Shack".....
  • Gateshead?? That's one scarey sounding name for a town...

  • by Analog ( 564 )
    I can't say for sure because his page is down, but it sounds like he could easily call his domain a parody of the toysrus name. He might just want to send them a reply reminding them that parody is protected by the constitution and under fair use laws and see what they have to say.
  • It generated the following C++ code:

    HTTP/1.0 542 InterWorld Exception caught Content-Type: text/html

    The InterWorld Extension 'ContactUs' threw an Exception.

    Error Description =
    ProcessStreamApplication::getStep -- Step not found.
    Step name --------------- 'error0'
    Process stream name ----- 'ContactUs'

    Two possible causes for this error are...
    1) A branch condition in the .process file for this process stream
    is referring to a non-existant process step.
    2) The step did not load because the .iwl file that it lives in did
    not load because either the path in the config file is wrong or
    the .iwl does not exist.


    Error Location
    filename = ProcessStreamApplication.cpp
    linenumber = 466


    Using generated page because either the error template does not exist
    or there was an error finding or expanding it.
    error template name = error.tem




    Could not dump the Connection Namespace because the registry setting 'Oasis.allowBrowserToReceiveDebugInformation' is not set to 'yes'




    # find /dev/brain
    find: cannot open /dev/brain: No such file or directory
  • If he REGISTERED the domain "ToysRGus" that is HIS domain . . . so that if it's associated or sounds like it . . he didn't us the backwards R the are known for . . Why should he back down ? How is this different from Veronica.org ? I don't get it . . . besides what is ONE GUY in the realm of the entire Internet . . . by him having this domain gonna take away sales from the TOYSRUS folk ? . . No . . let's weight the principle here . . what if a company came back and said . . we own the rights to RedDot.com, PolkaDot.com, DotToDot.org, and the DOT extension is our trademark blah blah . . . THEN what happend . . we close down SlashDot ?

    And the poor guy is scared cause of the LAWYER letter, I swear this is bulling in the greatest, WHY not just offer Gus . . $5,000.00 for the domain ? . . NO . . let's feed him some papers and SHUT HIM DOWN . .that's bulling people . . .

    WAKE UP !!!

    (PS. . . I could care less but I hate it when somoene gets bullied by Corporate types)

    (PSS . . but I will take their money !!!)
  • The big difference here that I think most are seeing is that in the case of ajax and veronica
    and pokey is that these are single words, that
    alone or out of visual context, then it's hard
    to infer if they are names, products, or just
    generic words. On the other hand "Toys-R-Us"
    is a trademark *phrase*. Take that out of context, and you still know it refers to the
    toy manufactures. Same thing with "america
    on-line", "apple computers", etc. The phrase is
    obviously connected with the company or product.
    But a single word is hard to narrow down, especially if it has prior use or is an
    established word in a language.

    Mind you, I think there's a better way to settle
    the dispute ("To ToysRGus, please add a notification on your site that you are not
    affliated with Toys-R-Us, and please provide a
    link to our site...") than plain old stripping the domain name away, but...
  • You don't seem to understand the laws in question here. A company must protect its trademarks from DILUTION (being "watered down" to the point where it can be referred to a number of items not originally intended by the trademark holder).

    Like it or not, your friend chose the name "Toys 'R' Gus" *because* of the name recognition factor. It isn't a matter of a coincidental sound-alike or anything unintentional. He took the Toys 'R' Us trademark and skewed it slightly because it was funny/a novelty.

    IMO, Toys 'R' Us is in the right here. They are watching out for their trademarks. If everyone on the 'Net were allowed to make and market their own variations of "Toys 'R' Us", the *real* Toys 'R' Us would lose name recognition (which is why we say it "dilutes" their trademark). Companies have a responsibility to protect their trademarks or else they lose them. This should not have come as a surprise to Gus.
  • RedDot.com bears a strong similarity to the registered trademark of RedHat.com and we must request you cease using it in your comments. :)

    Wait until the Slashdot/Redhat merger.
  • My opinion is that Toys R Us is right. Come on, would the guy have come up with the term "Toys R Gus" if he hadn't had heard of the name "Toys R Us" before? Of course not. It's a play on words. As far as I'm concerned, he was asking for it.

    He could probably fight this in court, and maybe he could win, but I'm not going to make any noise over this. It's not like veronica.org.

    --
    Timur "too sexy for my code" Tabi, timur@tabi.org, http://www.tabi.org
  • In regards to the legal action recently initiated on your behalf against Gus Lopez, owner of the internet domain name toysrgus.com, by the legal firm Darby & Darby, I wish to state that I find your company's actions in the matter reprehensible.

    The site in question was a resource for collectors of Star Wars memorabilia and has been in operation for nearly five years. It is my opinion that toy collectors have long supported your company, and that in this case your actions have repaid their passion for toys with legal threats.

    Please note that the name of the site is a reflection on the owner's first name, Gus, and that, to the best of my knowledge, there was no intention of using this domain to attempt to compete with your company, or to confuse readers of the site into thinking they were reading a web page created by Toys'R'Us.

    As a side note, I find the recent great increase in the aggressiveness of large corporations in taking legal action against small website operators to be disturbing. For examples, please see recent actions against the holders of ajax.org and veronica.org. Your company has been very active in this field, making truly bizarre claims such as that the site at rru.com might be mistaken for your company. In the case at hand, regarding toysrgus.com, if you truly feel that the destruction of a long-standing website resource for toy collectors will increase good will towards your company, then carry on. However, I urge you to consider alternatives.

    Perhaps an arrangement could be made in which Mr. Lopez would clearly identify on the first page of his site that he is not a representative of your company, and provide a link to your site from that first page. This would allow both clients of yours who have mistyped your domain name, and the toy collectors who regularly visit his site to quickly and easily reach your site for more information on your products and services.

    Your company (along with many others) is relatively new to the internet. I believe it is high time that large companies realized that this is an international medium, and that it is an individualized medium. I urge you to take the time to understand how it works and the nature of the internet community before you take similar actions in the future.

    I have been a regular and happy customer of Toys'R'Us for many years. However, I feel strongly enough about this issue that I will be finding alternative vendors for toys I purchase in the future if this action is not brought to a civilized end.

    Sincerely,
    Jonathan Stade
    acheron@mnj.ml.org
  • Subject:
    A Little Girl's Web Site
    Date:
    Mon, 25 Jan 1999 15:13:54 -0500
    From:
    "Michael Silberkleit"
    To:
    Kevin Forge




    In case you had not heard, I am pleased to say that
    Veronica Sams will continue to have her veronica.org
    web site. Please allow me a moment of your time to
    explain how this situation came about.

    When we first learned of the site a few months ago, it
    was an inactive site that had been registered by David
    Sams Industries Inc. and we had no idea what would go
    up on the site. We were concerned that we might be
    facing a repeat of an earlier situation.

    In 1997, someone had put up an archie.com site that
    contained pornographic material. We were very upset
    that such a site associated with our character's name
    would have material unsuitable for small children.
    Concerned parents began to e-mail us thinking we were
    responsible for the content because of the domain name.
    After extensive discussions with the owners failed to
    convince them to take the site down, we decided that
    the best way to solve this problem was to buy it from
    them. We did this because we believe we have an
    obligation to the children who may be searching for
    material based on the names of our characters, not
    because we needed another domain name.

    I can understand your concerns about the veronica.org
    web site since initial press reports made it appear
    that we were trying to deny a little girl her web site.
    Our sole intent was to protect children from seeing
    objectionable material on the Internet when they
    accessed what they might think is an "archie" web site.

    Given that David and Renee Sams were unaware of our
    previous problem, it is also understandable that they
    were initially upset with our action. However, as soon
    as we saw that it was a site dedicated to their daughter,
    we withdrew our request to place the domain on hold. I
    am happy to report that I met with the Sams, we shook
    hands and put this unfortunate matter behind us.

    Now that you know the circumstances, I hope that you too
    will understand our actions.

    For your convenience, we have gathered a number of links
    to articles regarding the chronology and happy settlement
    of this matter. To see them, please visit our web site, at:
    http://www.archiecomics.com/insideacp/inthenews.ht ml

    Thanks for taking the time to read this.

    Sincerely,
    Michael Silberkleit,
    Chairman and Co-Publisher
  • First of all, I seriously doubt anyone would mistake "Toys 'R' Gus" with "Toys 'R' Us". That is a rather distinct difference.

    Someone mentioned that he would never have thought it up without having seen Toys 'R' Us, but I disagree. With online talk as it is, many words are abreviated if they have the same pronunciation as a letter. Just hang out on IRC for an hour, and count how many times you see 'how r u?' Considering that, Replacing 'are' with an 'r' isn't that special.

    On another note, the guy's been running this site for 5 years now, from the sound of the article. And now, after 5 years, it's suddenly an infringement on their trademark?

    Also, I fail to see how this really in any way affects them. I don't care what anyone says, no one is going to mistake his site for a Toys 'R' Us site. It's a catchy name, he's been using it, let him keep using it. If every part of a company's name is reserved for their use only, we are going to have a whole lot of trademark issues real soon.

    "What? No, you can't use MicroSystems. The 'Micro' is an infringement on MicroSoft's trademark."

    Toph
  • I just came across this domain name, and considering the nature of this thread of discussion, I found it very amusing. ;-)

    TrademarksRUs.com [trademarksrus.com]

    Toph
  • I don't know if there are specific rules governing the use of names similar to Toys 'R Us, but obviously "Toys 'R Gus" not only uses the same type of wording, but it sounds like "Toys 'R Us" too. I doubt that it could be shown that it was not contrived from "Toys 'R Us".
    --
    Aaron Gaudio
    "The fool finds ignorance all around him.
  • my friend a few years ago had tacobell.com.. it was ripped away from him.. granted its a trademark.. but they still should have compensanted him.. now they wanna rip a site away because its too close to their name.. oh please.. veronica.org never should have happened.. ajax.. well trademark .. i dunno.. we have to stop it somewhere..

    posting while on painkillers =)

  • As an additional note it seems to me that Gus probably bought most of his collection at Toys R Us. Hows that for customer appreciation?
    My letter is below.

    Today on the slashdot website (www.slashdot.org) I learned that Toys R Us has decided to force the toysrgus website to shutdown. Im afraid I find this objectionable for many reasons.
    1. The toysrgus website has been in use for approx 5 yrs. In this time Toys R Us never attempted to reach an agreement in regards to the domain name.
    2. I find the velvet fist approach distasteful. It seems that in situations where corporate america wants something that may be legally questionable, the easiest answer is to loose the lawyers. The threat of a long and financially devastating legal battle makes it difficult for the normal guy to stand up for himself even if he is right. I find this to be frightening and I choose to oppose it whenever I can.
    3. Although my grasp of trademark law is limited, it seems doubtful to me that your company can own a trademark that includes anything ending in us.com or starting with toysr.
    4. There are obvious free speech issues here.

    I have 2 children and in the recent past I have spent hundreds of dollars at Toys R Us stores to prepare for Christmas and birthdays.
    Unfortunately, I will no longer shop at your stores. As a parent I can not support a buisness that shows such a lack of morality.

    I sent this letter to cusomerassist@toyrus.com and to lpollard@darbylaw.com.
  • no offence to gus and his site - haven't seen it though - even though he isn't selling anything there is some degree of initial association with "toys r us" when you see the name of his site.

    so in this instance, i can agree with toys r us defending their trademark. however, given the nature of gus's site and his intentions i sort of think that some degree of compensation is in order - perhaps in return for relenquishing the site name they help him register another domain name? i however, don't think toys r us should have to buy the rights back for some exhorbitant sum either. it should stop at a new registration and any legal costs incurred in initially defending himself.

    just a quick note to other slashdotters, i don't think we should pound toys r us with our "powers" to reach a resolution like those with ajax.org and veronica.org (i would like to think we would show some conscience when i came to using our collective powers).

    ps i thought lawyers were supposed to be well read, versed and eloquent people. lisa pollard's letter sort of lacks most of that. she also has also committed a few grammar errors as well - heh heh - go ahead show me mine - lol (there must be quite a few)
  • Did anyone go to www.toysrgus.com [toysrgus.com] and read the actual letter? Or are you just going by what News.com actually said?

    Gus is a good friend of mine. The website was set up as an archive for Star Wars collectibles, of which there where hundreds, if not thousands. To the best of my knowledge, it was only an archive, not a store. The mere thought of that makes me laugh. If you knew Gus, you'd laugh, too.

    Gus hasn't decided what he's going to do yet. He's considered complying, but sees that as only one option. He might fight it; he certainly has enough support. We'll see.

    However, reading some of the comments above, I'm confused. It's okay to have a domain name that is the same as a trademarked name but having nothing to do with said trademark; but it's not okay to have one that sounds like a trademark? What kind of double standard is that? It sounds like something Microsoft would pull.

    If that's the case, we'd better start shutting down sites like YaHooka [yahooka.com] (sounds too much like Yahoo! [yahoo.com]) and anonimizer.com [anonimizer.com] (sounds too much like Anonymizer.com [anonymizer.com])!!

    No more freedom of expression! Close the Internet! Last one off, please turn off the router.
  • OTOH, this guy is essentially selling competing toys using their name.

    Uh, no. He wasn't.

    Please get your facts straight before posting misleading nonsense. Gus' site was an archive of pictures of Star Wars collectibles. It wasn't selling anything.

  • 1. The site owner is asked to place a disclaimer on his page, "This site is in no way affiliated with XXX. XXX.YYY is a registered trademark of XXX"

    He might have gone for this if he had been approached this way. However, he wasn't so I doubt it'll happen.

    I'm still trying to figure out how it's trademark infringement...
  • After discovering that the "Customer service page" returned some error or another, I tried going to www.toysrus.com [toysrus.com], but typed a little to fast and got to www.toyrus.com. Now, www.toyrus.com [toyrus.com] is owned by a company called '37' or somesuch, which points the browser directly at 37.com [37.com], which is "the worlds fastest, most complete search engine".

    Obviously 37.com [37.com] is not a toy company, or in any way related to toys, but at the very least it's not exactly the most honest way to get hits. And if I were Toys 'R' Us, I'd take offense just at the claim they make of being the fastest/'completest' engine out there, which is a blatantly false claim.

    If I could actually get to the Toys 'R' Us Customer Service page, I would make myself very clear that when it comes time to shop for toys (no kids, no plans, but one of these days...), this little incident will most definitely impact whether or not I go to Toys 'R' Us.

    I would urge Gus to not back down, as I see no legal reason for him to give up his domain. Specifically, the letter from Darby & Darby (rather lame name, don't you think?) mentions that Toys 'R' Us has a series of "'R' Us marks". Am I the only one noticing that Gus is using "'R' Gus"??? And what if his last name were Argus???? (yeah, dumb, but possible)

    It's hard to hide my disgust at these kind of tactics, and I'm rather annoyed that Gus is backing down. Perhaps we can convince him not to back down so easily, and write to Toys 'R' Us in quantity sufficient to get their attention...

  • Toys'R'Us claims that Gus is infringing their copyright by using three letters of their company's name. Even Viacom, staunch protectors of their StarTrek copyrights wouldn't go after George Lucas for infringement over the use of the word 'Star' in StarWars.

    Next, some company named EZ(easy)this-or-that will demand the hundreds of companies and products with those two letters in their name to cease use of them. They should start going after zoos. I don't know about you, but I always mistake my local zoo for Toys'R'Us... Those damned giraffes and all.

  • I received eleven of them, but that's probably because I complained to every single email address on their contact page.

    I think Veronica's parents should show their appreciation for /.'s help by changing her name to Veronica Slashdot Sams.

    It even sounds good.

  • ...

    stating your cause for returning it to be due to their bully like attitude towards domain names...


    This is for a good cause!

    --
  • Notice the "toysrgreedy" homepage? It doesn't use the reverse "R". Does that mean they are infriging on their own copyright?
  • Did any of you notice that Toys r us doesn't have any sort of *real* legal standing? They view it as an infringement upon their rights... They have control of other domain names such as anyting with "r us.com" and "us.com" So we should give the law firm the /. effect and all write them and suggest they go after places like:

    www.janus.com/
    www.novus.com/
    www.jesus.com/
    www.rous.com/ - Linux server! Show them how stupid they are.
    www.populus.com/

  • I looked at the Darby & Darby website, and according to them, they handle many cases like this, yet their site hasn't been updated since early December of 1997. (According to the page info under Netscape.) Even if that is wrong, the newest information I could physically find on the site was from October of 1998. This is definitely a dated site, and something is fishy here. The domain name that goes with Miss Pollard's e-mail address specializes in Intellectual Property Law. I find her letter to Mr. Lopez do be less than what is deemed acceptable as a legal document. Under what she has stated to Mr. Lopez, Toys "R" Us has no legal standing on this case. I think I am now repeating myself... It seems to me that Toys "R" Us is taking itself way too seriously. It is going far out there to try and "protect" itself. The irony of it is, just as someone else has mentioned, his site could have been used to direct all the collectors that visited to look at the Toys "R" Us site and see if they have any information on what that particular collector is looking for.
  • Seriously,

    Bring it back as a parody of the official site, then embarras them with it.

    Parodies have withstood suits before.

    Besides they (Toys) need to get real, apparently they only have the balls to pick on individuals who don't have money to fight. (proof lawyers have no balls). They seem content to leave some "r-us" porn sites alone, and trademarksrus

  • It seems that http://www.toysrussucks.com [slashdot.org] is a real site....interesting...
  • Whoever wrote that letter lied when he said that "there have been numerous litigations involving out client's rights to the "backwardsR" US marks and our client has prevailed in every such litigation."

    Check out http://www.rru.com/ [rru.com] for a log what TRU has attempted to do to that site. As far as I know, TRU hasn't prevailed yet!

  • 3) Don't shop there now, but have a newborn son and would have shopped there if not for this.
  • Well well well... I just mooseyed over to their website and noticed that it been slashdotted to death. Good news for us.

    Now... as for the domain name problem.. this trademark infridgement problem is getting totally out of hand here. Toys R Us should back down from it since the website have been running for past 5 years so they should have "grandfather clause" part since they registered their domain name before Toys R Us did from my check with InterNIC. So... Toys R Us should get the f*ck off their ass and learn to understand that when it comes to the domain names... the trademarks should not apply since it is global... not US based. Frankly.. it is getting nutty here.

    Anyone want to register Winblowznuts.com? :) I would enjoy to see what Microsoft want to comment on that. :)
  • Toys'R'Us has a kids' clothing store called "Kids'R'Us". In addition, they have successfully and aggressively protected their trademark going back long before the internet -- basically, anyone trying to use an "R Us" name is asking for trouble, even if they only sell auto parts!

    The trademark is in the uniqueness of the "R Us" and especially the reversed R. But the similarity of a name like "toys R gus" is obvious. Even if he wasn't making money off the name, it wasn't a parody, and it's doubtful this would stand up in a court of law.

    Very unlike the ajax & veronica cases. I sympathize with Mr. Lopez, but he trod on thin ice.
  • Toys-R-Pus have a bit of a point, and so does Gus. On the other hand Gus is playing with fire by treading on the toes of someone with more more expensive lawyers.

    What really annoyed me recently was to find thousands of surnames grabbed by a bunch in Canada.

    My surname is Underwood. I did a check for underwood.com - that was taken by a Jenny Underwood. Fair enough, she got there first. Then I tries underwood.org, and found it registered to the "Underwood E-mail" service in Vancouver. I tried underwood.net, and they had that one too. Then I tried some other surnames, and found every one taken by ".... E-mail Service", with the same address, administrator, name server, etc. If you go to their web site they are trying to sell you a third level doamin, based on your surname for $4.95 a year.

    Now in some ways they are helping to share out these domains amongst a lot of people with the same surname. It seems too much like a scam, though. I feel content that I lost out on underwood.com to a real Underwood. I feel these other people are just trying to exploit me, though. If they were genuinely trying to run a business providing a service for people of the same name they wouldn't have registered all the .net names too.
  • Its ridiculous. They expect whole blocks of domain names to go unused because they don't like it! A friend of mine registered 'Webstreetjournal.com' and immediately got a cease and desist from them. Now he's out the cash for it but can't use it.

    Its just stupid, there should be some obligation on the companies part to compensate those they are treading on, at least for the cost of the domain name and a proper transfer.
  • If it was a gay porn sight at boysrus.com he wouldn't stand a chance.

    Small businesses that would not be given a second glance in the setting of a single city are, via the internet, competing on even ground with the big boys and are considered threats. If trademark dilution is truly a valid argument for restricting satire, puns and cutesy names then we'll be reduced to identifying ourselves by serial numbers. What's the point of knocking down the geography barrier only to be squashed by the pieces?

    Previously, the only Ma and Pop shops that had to worry about trademark infringment were those named with any variation of "McDonald".
  • I've been visiting Gus's site for nearly 4 years now, never has he sold anything through the site.
    www.toysrgus.com was "The Star Wars Collector's Archive" and yes it was just what it sounds like, an archive of photos of rare star wars memorabilia. NONE of it was for sale, and in fact most of it didn't even belong to Gus.

    Gus is the kind of guy that lends out rare pieces of his collection to be duplicated his site wasn't about making money off a catchy name that sounds like a major toy store chain, it was about sharing the magic of rare Star Wars collectibles with those who might otherwise never have a chance to see them.

    I see no reason that Toys R Us should win this one, this is further from copyright infringement than veronica.org was... At least veronica was the name that was copyrighted. Gus' site just sounds similar. Whether or not he would have come up with the name on his own should be irrelevant, it isn't the toysrus trademark, he isn't running a business, nothing more has to be said.
  • I think that Toys 'R' Us is actually correct on this one, as well.

    If Gus hadn't been using the site to sell products, then the situation might be different. But, IMHO, Gus stepped over the line. But that's just me.

    -Ash
  • It's as simple as keeping in mind that the Internet isn't an actual location, it's a network... this kind of problem started with the Internet taxing BS. You can't tax stuff that has no geological borders ('cause you can't tax someone else's country's products, and you never know where the heck the stuff comes from - generally that is). Then the CORPORATE WORLD started up with this crap of "that's my name". Please don't think I don't support e-commerce or the like, 'cause I do, even if it's about buying and selling Domain Names, the thing I can't stand is this prepotent bigotry of "that is my *whatever*!", there is no claim to approximate names because of the several cultures and languages present. For example, let's assume there's a domain called "tempestaid" as in relief from storm damage (hence tempest aid), and there's also a domain called "tempestade", they both sound very close, but can they not belong to separate institutions? Because, you see, "tempestade" means "storm" in Spanish, not English. My point is: closely related names must be allowed, for cultural purposes if nothing else, even if the companies have the same economic activity, because you can never be sure your name doesn't mean something else in some foreign language (I know it's going out on a limb but we must release ourselves from local dogmas to fully understand a global phenomenon). If the company has a problem with the website's content (copyright infringement for example) they can pursue it, even if it's not hard to escape in that case to, say, Burkina Faso, (that's a country BTW) where copyright is very low in the system's legal priorities. But when there is no subject, other than copyright or intellectual property, I can't fathom a reason to prosecute someone for putting whatever they want on a website, remember that the Internet is not plausible it's *intelectual*, conceptual, VIRTUAL, extra-political, extra-national, extra-legal, you can't, by any definition of *national* legal system, rule an *international* medium. BTW my point is THE INTERNET IS FREE! Why has everybody forgotten that once the people ruled this thing, not court rooms, not governments (since the ARPAnet went "public"), and most certainly NOT CORPORATIONS! Freedom of speech is precious, we must create a conscience that like Open Source, Freedom of Speech is something worth fighting for (in whichever form you're comfortable with).

  • Absolutely not. Would you back Microsoft if they decided to sue each competitor for using the string "office" in their office-suite products? It's a similar situation--one cannot proprietize a string of letters and all related or similar-sounding words.
    It's worth making noise over. "First they went after the ______, and I said nothing."
  • Well, I buy a lot there. Toys are a necessity for any geek. Where else do I get a lightsaber and silly putty and a glowing yoyo?

    Not to mention lego, lego and more lego.(tm, tm and more tm).

    And I don't think this case has any legal merit.

    Hmm. Looks like their server is down. I guess too many people offered their opinion...
  • 8t88 protocol droid calling...

    As long as the domain name is registered under his own name and he is paying an ammount of money and works with it they have absolutely no right to make changes. Sure , its like a name copy but its harmless and cannot be considered as a threat to such a big company as Toys R Us.
    I personally beleive that they should drop the case and get of his back.
    There are millions of variations of names on the net. This is just another one and surely not the last one.

    8t88 protocol droid over and out...
  • Believe it or not, it's not uncommon for these guys to do this, but they do overstep the mark sometimes. The store in Gateshead in the North of England, UK lost an injunction recently against an animal shelter called Cats'R'Us. They tried to use trademark infringement as their reason, but it's obvious that they are just plain bad to the core.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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