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  1. #1
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    * InMotion Hosting emails us a Trademark Violation letter?

    I have received the letter below from keywords{at}inmotionhosting.com

    For which I had replied:

    "Which keyword/s are we bidding on that's trademarked? I'm not aware of bidding on any brand specific keywords. Have you sent us this in error?"

    I have not received a response as of yet. I know for sure that we do not bid on any trademarked or branded keywords so I want to know why we have received this email from InMotion Hosting in the first place. We are not and never have been a client of InMotion.


    Hello,



    We are writing to let you know that you are bidding competitively in multiple search engines

    and shopping bots for keywords that involve the InMotion Hosting trademark or phrases related

    thereto. We’re sure there was no harm meant, but this is a violation of the search engines and shopping

    bots’ bidding policies, and of trademark laws.



    Therefore, in order to protect InMotion Hosting’s trademark, we must ask that you cease and desist all

    such bidding immediately, and notify us in writing that you have done so.



    If you fail to make the changes to your bidding process, we may have to take legal action.



    Thank you very much for your prompt assistance in this matter, please contact us with any questions.



    Best Regards,



    Trademark Team

    InMotion Hosting, Inc.
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  2. #2
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    Ask them for proof that those keywords are trademarked if they can give you the actual words they feel is trademarked. Their are literally 1000's of keywords to use for bots for "hosting" them trademarking one of even several is a bit strange...

    To me this sounds like your getting ranked higher in search results then they are and you and them are using the same key words which is not unheard of for sure...

    I only live 5 minutes from their office in Va. Beach Virginia and have been their many times :-)
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  3. #3
    IMHO, you best talk to a lawyer rather than ask a forum full of (mostly) non-lawyers. But InMotion Hosting does have a U.S. trademark (serial # 85187611).

    I may be mistaken but...is InMotion a member here?

  4. #4
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    @MSHMatt

    I was hoping they could be specific as I have still not heard a response from them as of yet. I know for sure that I did not bid on any trademarked or branded keywords so I would like to know why I was sent this letter from them. I believe they either owe us an explanation or if sent to us in error an apology, rather then not hearing any response.
    Last edited by JixHost; 09-12-2013 at 09:30 AM.
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  5. #5
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    I'm not paying a lawyer everytime some @sshole sends threats.
    If they have an issue, they need to prove it. What you got was a generic nothing.
    Life too short for BS legal threats.
    Last edited by kpmedia; 09-12-2013 at 09:43 AM.
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  6. #6
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    They do need to be specific as to what "keyword" they claim a trademark on. The keyword InMotion is probably the only thing they would have trademarked. They may have some other business names, but again they would need to provide those to you. I just did a search on "hosting inmotion" and got ads for InMotion, but also for Google, and GoDaddy..

  7. #7
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    Just add "inmotion" to the list of negative keywords in your PPC campaign. You might not be bidding on their trademarked terms but your ads might come up anyway.

    For instance, if you're bidding on "hosting reviews" and someone searches for "inmotion hosting reviews", your ad can come up.
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  8. #8
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    I would recommend not posting legal emails on a public forum.

  9. #9
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by stablehost View Post
    I would recommend not posting legal emails on a public forum.
    Good advice
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  10. #10
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    I take it inmotion is not among your keywords?

    Scaremongering?

  11. #11
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    @ stablehost:

    It's my understanding that in the United States all legal matters can be made public domain unless there are minors involved or specifically sealed by a judge.

    @ gingir

    inmotion is certainly not one of our keywords or in any of our keyword phrases.
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  12. #12
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    I agree with the others that they should've been more specific.

    Quote Originally Posted by stablehost View Post
    I would recommend not posting legal emails on a public forum.
    That stuff should be kept private even though it can be made public. I'd just rather keep it private.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JixHost View Post
    @ stablehost:

    It's my understanding that in the United States all legal matters can be made public domain unless there are minors involved or specifically sealed by a judge.

    @ gingir

    inmotion is certainly not one of our keywords or in any of our keyword phrases.
    You have the right to post anything you want, this is America after all.

    However, anything you post publicly (that anyone can also read) can be used against you in court.

    It's just best to not go public with legal matters.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by stablehost View Post
    You have the right to post anything you want, this is America after all.
    However, anything you post publicly (that anyone can also read) can be used against you in court.
    It's just best to not go public with legal matters.
    One of the problems with this is that it allows companies to prey on more people this way. By keeping silent, you may be doing more harm than good. When stuff like this comes out, I often notice "hey, me too!" coming from the woodwork. Maybe it's the old-school journalist in me still, but I'll go public. I refuse to be bullied by companies, and I refuse to stay silent if I think something shady is going on.

    That's the decision you need to make. Keeping quiet can be the wrong move. You may not be the only victim, and there is strength in numbers.

    I read an example of this just last week in The Atlantic. One of the now-disbarred law firms was suing unjustly, pressuring people into settling. They collected millions. Why did that happen? Because they all kept quiet, until one person had some balls and fought back. It was a domino effect after that. F- that.
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  15. #15
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    InMotion Hosting emails us a Trademark Violation letter?

    It's probably best to wait for a response from them directly via email. It's very unlikely your get a response from them on WHT.

    However, they should have provided you with the keywords that they believe are violating their trademark(s).
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  16. #16
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    I would not yet take this seriously. They have to specify exactly what you are doing wrong to violate their trademark. All they have said is they believe you to be using keywords, but have no exactly stated what those keywords are.



    Disclaimer - While I, personally, am not a legal adviser. I happen to have had one next to me (for other reasons) and in my free time was surfing WHT. Laws very internationally and regionally, so this may or may not apply to you. You are better offer getting your own professional legal aid if this matter really is of concern to you.

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  17. #17
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    I do not see an issue with this personally being posted here, reality speaking there is no real current legal action being enforced by InMotion. However, in saying this as said previously this could be used as evidence if or when it did proceed down that path (if InMotion) chose to do so.

    I would take this as a threat without evidence by them to back up their claims, you do have that right to request the information as to what they state is being trademarked or what is a violation to their trademark.

    Do let us know how you progress with this as it would be great to see what does happen or what form of a reply you get from the company itself.
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  18. #18
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    They have just replied to my email with the keyword and upon checking... yes, it was there for which I promptly removed. I use Googles keyword tool and did not realize it would generate a branded keyword. Of the few thousand or so keyword/phases I did not see any other branded keywords. Moving forward, I will scrutinize more closely it's results.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by JixHost View Post
    They have just replied to my email with the keyword and upon checking... yes, it was there for which I promptly removed. I use Googles keyword tool and did not realize it would generate a branded keyword. Of the few thousand or so keyword/phases I did not see any other branded keywords. Moving forward, I will scrutinize more closely it's results.
    Exactly what was the keyword?

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  20. #20
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    It was a phrase that included "inmotion"
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  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by kpmedia View Post
    One of the problems with this is that it allows companies to prey on more people this way. By keeping silent, you may be doing more harm than good. When stuff like this comes out, I often notice "hey, me too!" coming from the woodwork. Maybe it's the old-school journalist in me still, but I'll go public. I refuse to be bullied by companies, and I refuse to stay silent if I think something shady is going on.

    That's the decision you need to make. Keeping quiet can be the wrong move. You may not be the only victim, and there is strength in numbers.

    I read an example of this just last week in The Atlantic. One of the now-disbarred law firms was suing unjustly, pressuring people into settling. They collected millions. Why did that happen? Because they all kept quiet, until one person had some balls and fought back. It was a domino effect after that. F- that.
    If anything, one just ought to be careful what s/he says or posts online, that's all.

    Thankfully, InMotion Hosting saw fit to send a notice to resolve the issue rather than just sue in court directly. Some people just file a lawsuit without trying to patch things up first, whether out of spite, principle, or of seeking a challenge.

  22. #22

    Thanks- Trademark issues

    Hello,

    Thanks for the kind reply Dave! I work with InMotion as one of their Community Support reps and we monitor posts on the web and this is a great topic of discussion. I appreciate the sentiment - both the reply about keeping this type of discussion in the open and also the query of the legality of the action taken. This is information that should be taken seriously, especially with the explosion of social media and the importance of this issue in terms of search engines and branding.

    For us, there has been closer scrutiny on the brand name due to the importance of the name in regards to the changes in SEO (especially with Google). This should be something to keep in mind for any company trying to keep their brand in the clear.

    We also do try to work things out without having to end up in court. We would much rather settle things amicably without having to involve the legal system. Thanks again for the opinions and your consideration. Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Regards,
    Arnel C.
    <<snipped>>
    Last edited by bear; 09-13-2013 at 08:34 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arn-IMH View Post
    Hello,

    Thanks for the kind reply Dave! I work with InMotion as one of their Community Support reps and we monitor posts on the web and this is a great topic of discussion. I appreciate the sentiment - both the reply about keeping this type of discussion in the open and also the query of the legality of the action taken. This is information that should be taken seriously, especially with the explosion of social media and the importance of this issue in terms of search engines and branding.

    For us, there has been closer scrutiny on the brand name due to the importance of the name in regards to the changes in SEO (especially with Google). This should be something to keep in mind for any company trying to keep their brand in the clear.

    We also do try to work things out without having to end up in court. We would much rather settle things amicably without having to involve the legal system. Thanks again for the opinions and your consideration. Let me know if you have any further questions.

    Regards,
    Arnel C.
    InMotion Hosting Community Support Team
    Thanks for coming to settle things on the board Arn, though you may want to read the forum rules with regards to signatures too.

  24. #24
    We also received one of these letters from them, claiming - actually, stating as a fact - that we were using a specific phrase that included their name, and that we were bidding against them on that phrase, something that is entirely untrue. Rather annoying, since we have never used that particular phrase in any campaigns (why would we?), certainly have never had their name as a keyword, and nothing of the sort appears in our list of keywords at Google (our list at Google hasn't changed in eons).

    I would suggest to them that before they start sending off vaguely threatening legal missives stating categorically "You are using our trademark!" that they step back and click the little question mark that pops up next to Google-generated searches, where they would find Google generates ads based "on your search terms" - which could include the portion of this particular phrase that they do not own and cannot trademark, since it's a generic phrase. Or, they could choose the Ad Settings link from that very popup and find Google's reasoning for some of the ads:

    Search terms
    This ad matches terms similar to the ones you entered.

    Similar. Not exact. And not proof that anyone is bidding on any sort of trademark whatsoever. Somehow I doubt GoDaddy and Network Solutions are appearing in these searches because the "similar" portion of the phrase is the inmotion name, given that they likely have no idea who inmotion is, nor would they care.

    The ONLY ad that appears that matches the exact phrase they provided to us, based on Google's reasoning? Their own.

    Since there was nothing for us to remove, we dropped their name into our negative keywords list, because that's certainly how I feel about them now.
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  25. #25
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    And just like that, the "hey, me too!" has begun.

    To InMotion: Your legal department is apparently sloppy. Fix that. Start by NOT sending vague blanket letters.
    Your too good of a host to be tarnishing your image in this way.
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