Feeling defeated - my startup has a similar sounding name that a multimillion dollar company has in my space - they reached out and told me I have to hand over my domain otherwise theyll take legal action

by Fiiqiii. Posted on Sep 10, 2020    6    35


Hey guys,

I’m the owner of a startup called resumator.io (to mods - my website has been taken down so this isnt self promotion). The idea was to create an AI-driven resume critiquor so people can get their resumes reviewed in seconds.

It only made $30 since launch, so I ended up just making the service free. Especially with COVID, I thought it’d help people out that need to get jobs so I put it as a free service, eating up the server costs.

Two days ago (3 yrs post launch), a company in my space, whose name is COMPLETELY different (they rebranded years ago), message me on LinkedIn, telling me that they have a trademark on the name “The Resumator”, (mine is resumator, so resumator.io) and hence if I dont take it down, they’ll take legal action against me and file a UDRP.

I single-handedly launched this startup in 2017, doing everything from the name, to the branding, to the middleware, to the backend engine that drives the startup. I made $30, and this company that’s supposedly a multimillion dollar company is telling me to take it down.

I’m not sure if there is any point of me posting this, except I’m just sad. This is my baby, I put so much into it. And even though it doesnt make shit, I still proudly tell people to go to resumator.io. Yet there’s nothing I can do, except vent. I just feel really, really sad.

And honestly, it’s just pathetic. For a company making millions to go after me and threathen me with legal action, even telling me I must take it down by Tuesday . First the CMO came after me, then the CEO. Pathetic.

It’s a cruel world man.


Comments

iamobi 1

You can easily change your brand but if you're really attached to it, and your startup is registered corporation, you can take your chances with legal action. If you do lose, it will be limited to the worth of your business. Considering your sales, then the company would probably be at a loss taking it that far.

i1ducati 1

Sounds like BS, but I'd give them an offer to buy the domain from you for a few thousand dollars. It is very hard to get domains taken away from an owner against their will.

Da12khawk 1

Let us know when u bring it back sounds like a great idea

Shady-- 1

SELL THEM THE DOMAIN.
I'm not sure about your business but sniping and selling domains is something people do, you could make money here.

hawaiianryanree 1

Make them take legal action....

If you own a domain. you own the domain.


Theres not much they can do unless you have bought maliciously the domain, that is almost identical to their trademark / copyright. Which I highly doubt is the case.

I used to own a company, where a competitor bought a domain from us. SO the reverse actually happened. We were in LEGITIMATE rights, and had overwhelming proof.

It still took us 4 years to win.

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FOr you, It looks like you have the opposite. proof, evidently proving that this was NOT malicious, and NOT infringing on any copyrights ( at least from what you are saying + resumator is super "General," so it should't be able to be legally opposed)

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You may have to hire some sort of legal council though, as they could just paperdump you until you give up. But. If its your baby. If it were me. Id fight it. To the end.

Turn it into your marketing. Use it to publicise. Be david, agaiinst goliath.

Previous comment is right. If they approached you on Linked in, not a Cease and Desist letter, from lawyers, they are bluffing. They are probably just struggling / looking for ways to get it out. But what they are doing is a waste of time for both of you.

rjc33020 1

From what I am reading they may not be serious. It seems they are trying to bully you because you are the competition. They know that you are on linkedin a lot to check the messages they send you. IMO

akshshr 1

This sounds like fear-mongering at best and douchebaggery at the worst, I don't think for the slightest that you should feel defeated or even threatened.

Keep the website live man, you said it, this is your baby, why drop it at the first sign of contention. If the pressure increases, just change the name and do a 301.

pixelrow 1

You made a mistake using resumator but at this point they have potentially abandoned the trademark by not using the brand. They are forwarding traffic to their new name so I think your lawyer would have a good argument the trademark is abandoned. They might be looking to sell the brand and your site is a potential obstacle as it creates doubt in the validity of their trademark. I might consider leaving your website up and running and see what happens. You can start a new site with a new name but keep the option of using the old name alive, I don't agree its a bad brand name at all. If they don't follow through with their legal threats they are effectively abandoning the name. It doesn't cost you anything to keep the status quo, don't do anything under those circumstances.

django_noob 1

Get a .com. studies have shown that a lot of peope don't recognize company.io as a domain.

fuck_____________1 1

this company lied to you. they cannot take legal action (successfully).

for example the owner of adsense.com, a trademarked google service that had millions of users, refused to sell the domain to them for like 15 years. they never took legal action, cause they couldn't. he bought the domain before the trademark existed.

and when he did sell it to them, I'm sure he sold for 6+ figures.

Tell them to suck a dick. If they sue you, go to the press, and open a gofund me.

The press will eat that this shit up, it will go viral and DESTROY their rep, and your gofundme will pay for whatever frivolous lawsuit they try to fuck you with.

also resumator.io is a pretty shitty name. I would just buy a new better domain with better name and 301 resumator.io to it. there's really no loss at all from changing name and doing a 301. It takes 2 seconds, you don't lose any google rankings.

Badluckx 2

This is what i would do:

  1. Verify they actually own that trademark. If they don’t, then it’s easy.
  2. Don’t just take your product offline, add a landing page that says something like: “we’re improving your experience, Subscribe to be notified when we relaunch.
  3. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so rebrand. New name, New logo.
  4. Release the rebranded version under a new domain.
  5. Redirect all your traffic from your old domain to the new one.

    Don’t forget, the value of a startup is not in it’s name, it’s in the quality of service, customer experience, customer service and value to the customer.
  Fiiqiii 1

They do own “The resumator”, while my domain is resumator.io

Thanks! I think ill go with the rebrand. I appreciate the notice :)

Badluckx 2

Well, if you would launch a service called “the instagram” would still be slapped with a claim.

GlutenFreeGanja 3

Fuck em, this company is now called by a different name jazzhr. They can threaten to take legal action all they want, judging by the reviews going years back, they won't. Here is how I would look at it,either a) you take it down and avoid legal action but lose the domain OR b) you let them take legal action and see what a court decides, worst case being you lose the domain name. But they will NEVER go this route ad they have nothing to stand on.

Ignore them.

  Fiiqiii 3

Yep them! They have such a ridiculous name too. I just don’t understand why a supposedly multimillion dollar company would go after one that makes nothing.

What do you mean they won’t take action?

lapseofreason 1

I have no idea what the legal status of this is and what you should tell the other company. How important is this to you really ? Whether or not they are right or wrong, surely you will be MUCH happier if you just move on and change the name ? It might be short term irritating but I suspect you will sleep better and have a better life.....

Chaz_wazzers 3

It might be worth talking to a lawyer. You might be able to at least negotiate selling the domain and recoup some of your expenses.

blackcatinurpath 3

Have you verified they actually have it trademarked?

  Fiiqiii 2

So thats the weird thing, they do own “THE resumator”, and rhey have resumator.com, but mine is called “resumator.io”, without the “THE”, just resumator. And they havent used that name in years either

Ruby-is-a-potato 1

I’d suggest checking if they have a word mark for the actual term or just a logo mark for their particular brand.

TabascoWolverine 13

If they were serious, they wouldn't be contacting you on LinkedIn.

"nice try losers" should be your only response to them.

  Fiiqiii 5

Right?? Ive had times where i dont check linkedin for months, what would they have done then?

TabascoWolverine 1

Twitter? Smoke signals? Maybe a message on a bathroom wall?

All are equally ineffective and show they don't have much experience in matters like this.

besht2014 11

The fact that you haven’t made many sales yet is a blessing in disguise in this situation. You’re brand is still new enough to easily pivot to another name. It’s just a matter of changing the domain and logo. Your service/software doesn’t need to change

ChristopherGS 1

This

  Fiiqiii 1

Thanks a lot man :)

hawaiianryanree 2

Yes... Its like when Ataris sued that small development company, for making mods for Space invader back in the day. They were sued for like 5 million each, $15 m Total, and it was three small owners, running that b.

2 were so scared.

But 1, was SO HAPPY.

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Because, "that put them on the map"

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Turn them lemons into lemonade boiiiiii!!!!

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Edit- Spoiler- they won the case, ended up teaming with Ataris (or was it Nintendo? Either way some big boy) secretly. They ended up leveraging that into working with another massive developer to create Ms Pacman (out doing the original Mr Pacman)

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I think you can find a way to make them look like idiots, and get a lot of marketing out of this.

Naolone 1

I was just watching that documentary on Netflix tonight xD

hawaiianryanree 1

oh 100%. I hope i didn't sound like i wasn't regurgitating netflix content :D

thedecanus 3

I second this.

OP could even offer a sale of the software to them for something ridiculous just to see if they bite. As soon as they turn it down, change the domain name and set up a 301 redirect.

They might even want to buy or license the software from OP if it works for them so could be a win/win.

lateraltrickery 11

Can't offer any legal advice here but the fact that they touched base via LinkedIn seems like a low ball shot from them in an attempt to scare you.

  Fiiqiii 3

Yup, first the Chief Marketing Officer came after me and when I didnt respond for a few hrs because I was doing my research, the CEO came after me. No life i’m telling ya

lateraltrickery

Who has been around longer? You or them?

lateraltrickery

Ehh. That's a tough one honestly. You should have known better than to basically try and copy a big name. They'll come after you for a matter of pennies. Literally.

"legally" i don't know what leverage they have here, but I'm willing to bet they'll destroy you by inconveniencing you and nothing else.

Sorry to sound like a dick but....

  Fiiqiii 1

They have