If you’re buying Libra domains to sell to Facebook, it’s time to get a clue

So unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Facebook is going to be releasing a new cryptocurrency called Libra. News of Facebook doubling down on crypto has caused a surge in the crypto market with Bitcoin jumping over $10,000.

At the same time, some very foolish people have started buying domain names with the word “Libra” in it and often with another word related to crypto hoping to sell them to Facebook.

Let me be not the first to say – this is a terrible idea. First things first – there are 204 records in the US Trademark database for the word “libra” – not all are live, but a lot of them are. If you want to look for yourself, here’s the link.

So if Facebook doesn’t get you for Trademark infringement…well, there are a lot of other companies that could. That being said, Facebook probably will go after you since they have a good track record of recovering names that violate their trademarks.

Heck, Facebook even goes after domains that don’t directly violate their trademarks but could be seen as confusingly similar to one of their trademarks:

Social networking company Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram have successfully recovered 46 domain names that are confusingly similar to its trademarks.

The domains include facebookenespanol.com, fecaboock.com, iinstagram.com and imstagram.com. They were registered from September 2009 to July 2011. Facebook first registered a US trademark in 2006 and Instagram in 2012.

(Source – Trademarksandbrandsonline.com)

I’ve seen some people that are not only foolish enough to buy domains that infringe on this trademark, but have also started bragging about it publicly.

Get a clue. Seriously. Facebook isn’t going to buy your domains, but they will take them via UDRP and could hit you with a nasty bill to pay on top of that. Remember, registering someone’s trademark is cybersquatting, not domain investing.

While I thought that by now most people would know the long history of companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Coke, Pepsi, really any big company you can think of protecting their trademarks…it’s clear some people haven’t learned the lesson the hard way yet, but they will, just make sure it’s not you.

Did you buy a trademark infringing “libra” domain? If so, the good news is, you can force drop the domain at the registry level and save yourself the pain. Don’t know how to get rid of a domain ASAP, you can read more about how to do it here.

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Morgan Linton was born in Berkeley, California but spent nine years traveling the world as an early employee for digital music startup Sonos. In 2007 Morgan founded Linton Investments, a domain name and branding company that has helped some of the most recognized startups in the world acquire their top choice domain name. In 2012 Morgan left his full-time job to co-found Bold Metrics, a startup building technologies that make it easy for online shoppers to buy clothes that fit and arming retailers with more data than ever before.

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy July 1, 2019, 9:51 pm

    “First things first – there are 204 records in the US Trademark database for the word “libra” – not all are live, but a lot of them are. If you want to look for yourself, here’s the link.
    So if Facebook doesn’t get you for Trademark infringement…well, there are a lot of other companies that could. ”

    That doesn’t prevent people legally registering domains with Libra in them. Need to differentiate between registering a name and actually infringing someone’s mark. Seems bad legal advice starts here.

    • x July 1, 2019, 9:57 pm

      face palm

      • Snoopy July 1, 2019, 11:33 pm

        Blah blah blah, libra is a common english word, 204 trademarks is a positive thing for domain owners, that doesn’t mean all these other companies are going to be chasing anyone with libra in their domain, they have rights only as it relates to their mark.

        Morgan is giving “pub quality” advice here.

        • Anonymous July 2, 2019, 1:58 am

          Have to agree with Snoopy here.

          Registering a domain with lets say ‘Coca Cola’ in it is asking for trouble. As far as I know they are the only one to own a trademark on it, it’s unique brand, they are well known etc.

          Libra on the other hand is not a unique brand and a quick search shows other companies and websites using it as well. So just because you have a Libra domain doesn´t mean Facebook can take it from you. In certain cases, like for example facebooklibra dot com or libracoin dot com or whatever, you may cross the line and Facebook probably could get it if they want it.

          Note: I don’t own any Libra domains.

  • bdsmStore.com July 1, 2019, 10:21 pm

    I don’t think people are buying Libra domains to sell to Facebook…

    They want to flip them to other domainers or other investors…

  • Raymond July 2, 2019, 12:35 am

    I still entitle to own Libra.io if I use it as a Gay Wedding or Gay Dating site…. Because it is a different trademark classification from FB’s crypto token…..Am I right?

  • Jared July 5, 2019, 12:43 pm

    Disregard entire article, author is completely wrong. First of all, Facebook has already promoted and retweeted websites that use the libra name that aren’t affiliated with the project. Unless it’s a scam site, they’re not going to take domains. Second of all, Facebook is only one company that has an equal part in Libra, no more power than the other 100 companies. @libradomains.Happy domaining!

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