BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

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BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:46 pm

Hello Everyone:

I'm happy to announce that, thanks to the expert legal work performed pro-bono by Boglehead attorney Serge Krimnus http://www.mkwllp.com/#people_krimnus, The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy prevailed in a legal action against a financial advisor who was using our trademarked "Bogleheads" name in two domain names (bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net) without permission. He was obviously using those domain names to drive traffic to his website whenever someone erroneously typed in "bogleheads.com" (a very common mistake) or "bogleheads.net" instead of the forum's "bogleheads.org".

Those two domain names are now owned by The Bogle Center and are being redirected to this forum. So now when somone types in "bogleheads.com" or "bogleheads.net" instead of "bogleheads.org", they'll end up right here on the forum where they probably meant to go in the first place.

Thanks again, Serge!

Best regards,

Mel

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by crg11 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 8:58 pm

Nice work!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by TIAX » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:12 pm

The decision of the arbitrator awarding the domains to the bogle center is available here.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by pennstater2005 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:18 pm

Great work Serge!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Kevin M » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:22 pm

That's great! Thanks for sharing this with us Mel.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by lhl12 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:34 pm

Thank you, Serge, for this pro bono contribution to the Bogleheads!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by qw3rty » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:41 pm

Thank you Serge :beer

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by gkaplan » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:42 pm

Good work, Mel (and Serge).
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Miriam2 » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:59 pm

One of the key conclusions of the decision:

This Panel [the arbitration panel that decided the case] believes that Respondent [Michael George, ie. the financial advisor using bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net to direct business to his financial business, FPL Capital Management] failed to prove his rights or legitimate interests in the disputed domain names bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net. As Respondent's use of the disputed domain names is not a bona fide offering of goods or services or a legitimate noncommercial or fair use, because offering competing services with Complainant's mark [The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy, ie. bogleheads.org trademark] is directed to capitalize Complainant's mark BOGLEHEADS goodwill by attracting internet users to its disputed domain names where Respondent sells competing services.

Furthermore, Respondent never explained the reason for choosing the expression BOGLEHEADS to be part of its domain names, when it is obvious from the Response and Respondent's Additional Submission, that Respodent has never been commonly known by the disputed domain names as an individual, business or organization.

Consequently, Respondent knew or should have known of Complainant's mark BOGLEHEADS since both are part of the same market. Yet Respondent incorporated said mark in the disputed domain names. Thus, Respondent used the mark BOGLEHEADS to create a likelihood of confusion aimed to divert consumers to Respondent's offered services.

Finally, Respondent is making a commercial use of the disputed domain names since they redirect to Respondent's website in which Respondent sells financial products and investments opportunities.


The Complainant is the Bogleheads (the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy), the respondent is the financial advisor Michael George who used bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net. for his FPL Capital Management group.
The "mark" is the Bogleheads trademark.

In other words, the financial advisor did it intentionally to capitalize on the Bogleheads trademark.
Last edited by Miriam2 on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by raymclean » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:04 pm

Well done, Mel and Serge. Thank you for giving your time to protect the integrity of the Bogle name and the Bogleheads site. Proud of you!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by JMacDonald » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:05 pm

Great work!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by fishnskiguy » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:17 pm

Bravo Zulu, Serge.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by jhfenton » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:32 pm

Occasionally good does triumph. :sharebeer Well done, Serge.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Toons » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:34 pm

Outstanding .
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by GoldenFinch » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:39 pm

I am very happy to read this good news! Bravo!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by saltycaper » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:51 pm

Nice work!

I guess the diehards.[net/com] will be left to their current owners? I wonder if it's because the traffic is not important enough (not worth the effort) or because the name is not trademarked (questionable whether the decision would be favorable).
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:36 am

saltycaper wrote:Nice work!

I guess the diehards.[net/com] will be left to their current owners? I wonder if it's because the traffic is not important enough (not worth the effort) or because the name is not trademarked (questionable whether the decision would be favorable).


Both of those diehards domain names are for sale, but we're not interested. We're no longer known as the Diehards. In fact, when we got our own forum on M* in 1998, we wanted to be known as the Bogleheads, but Morningstar thought that it might offend Jack and named us the Vanguard Diehards. Little did they know!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by saltycaper » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:44 am

Thanks, Mel. Neat bit of history.
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Wagnerjb » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:16 am

Well done Serge and Mel!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by sperry8 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:15 am

Was it a UDRP decision via ICANN? https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/help/dndr/udrp-en

Or some other legal method? If UDRP, congrats. Even some straightforward cases have some seemingly weird outcomes.
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Miriam2 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:40 am

Mel Lindauer wrote:I'm happy to announce that, thanks to the expert legal work performed pro-bono by Boglehead attorney Serge Krimnus http://www.mkwllp.com/#people_krimnus, The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy prevailed in a legal action against a financial advisor who was using our trademarked "Bogleheads" name in two domain names (bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net) without permission.

Mel -
Is this written decision by the Administrative Panel final, or can the other side appeal the decision?
Last edited by Miriam2 on Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by abuss368 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:43 am

Great news Mel and Serge!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Boglenaut » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:52 am

Quick Mel,

Nothing comes up when I try http://www.fplcapital.org or http://www.fplcapital.biz. Maybe you can grab them?

(I am joking, of course)

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by blueblock » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:01 am

Well done!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Fri Jan 29, 2016 1:02 pm

sperry8 wrote:Was it a UDRP decision via ICANN? https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/help/dndr/udrp-en

Or some other legal method? If UDRP, congrats. Even some straightforward cases have some seemingly weird outcomes.


Here's a link to the decision that awarded both domains to The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy.

http://www.adrforum.com/domaindecisions/1641523.htm
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by TIAX » Fri Jan 29, 2016 2:43 pm

sperry8 wrote:Was it a UDRP decision via ICANN? https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/help/dndr/udrp-en

Or some other legal method? If UDRP, congrats. Even some straightforward cases have some seemingly weird outcomes.


Yes, it's a UDRP. ICANN allows complainants to use several providers. The National Arbitration Forum rendered this decision.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Fri Jan 29, 2016 4:57 pm

Miriam2 wrote:
Mel Lindauer wrote:I'm happy to announce that, thanks to the expert legal work performed pro-bono by Boglehead attorney Serge Krimnus http://www.mkwllp.com/#people_krimnus, The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy prevailed in a legal action against a financial advisor who was using our trademarked "Bogleheads" name in two domain names (bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net) without permission.

Mel -
Is this written decision by the Administrative Panel final, or can the other side appeal the decision?


The decision is final. The time to appeal the decision passed without an appeal. Both domain names have already been transferred to The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy's account and are now being redirected to the forum.
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by b23 » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:22 pm

:beer :sharebeer :beer Cheers!!! :beer :sharebeer :beer

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:17 pm

Many thanks to Serge for the hard work.

For completeness, the Bogleheads® service mark info is in the wiki's General disclaimer, click on the "Discussion" tab.

From the US Patent and Trademark Office: Case number 76706567

Also: Registration Certificate
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by neurosphere » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:29 pm

Mel Lindauer wrote:Hello Everyone:

I'm happy to announce that, thanks to the expert legal work performed pro-bono by Boglehead attorney Serge Krimnus http://www.mkwllp.com/#people_krimnus, The John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy prevailed in a legal action against a financial advisor who was using our trademarked "Bogleheads" name in two domain names (bogleheads.com and bogleheads.net) without permission.


Yeah!! Do I get any credit? As far as I know, I was the first to bring this up on the forum:

viewtopic.php?t=152418

[Edit: Nope! I was not the first...continue further down this thread...but I WAS the first to call FPL "poopy" for the cybersquat, if that's the right term]

Just kidding, I don't want any credit. It's just nice it's no longer an issue. Just a few weeks ago it seems I checked again, and that they still had those domains. I was about to write a follow-up post saying "it's still happening!". But I didn't. I had no idea the lawsuit was going on in the background. Cool!!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:53 pm

Neurosphere hereby gets an official :sharebeer for bringing this up on the forum.
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Fri Jan 29, 2016 11:44 pm

LadyGeek wrote:Neurosphere hereby gets an official :sharebeer for bringing this up on the forum.


Neurospace definitely gets a great big attaboy and "thank you" for bringing it to our attention.
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:54 am

Actually it was first posted that bogleheads.com led to FPL back in 2013 by batpot, but I missed seeing that post.

viewtopic.php?p=1770218#p1770218
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by JMacDonald » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:57 am

I was trying to read through the decision posted by TIAX. Here is one item that caught my eye:
e. Respondent has not registered or used the disputed domain names in bad faith. Respondent had no notice or knowledge of Complainant or its trademark when it registered the disputed domain names.


Really, "Respondent had no notice or knowledge of Complainant or its trademark." The name Bogleheads just seemed to be such a nice name. :twisted:
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Miriam2 » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:43 pm

JMacDonald wrote:I was trying to read through the decision posted by TIAX. Here is one item that caught my eye:
e. Respondent has not registered or used the disputed domain names in bad faith. Respondent had no notice or knowledge of Complainant or its trademark when it registered the disputed domain names.

Really, "Respondent had no notice or knowledge of Complainant or its trademark." The name Bogleheads just seemed to be such a nice name. :twisted:

I saw that also.
That quote was from Respondent's [the Respondent is the financial advisor Michael George and his FPL Capital Management] contention, that he did not know what Bogleheads was :shock: :shock: :shock:
The Panel judge did not buy the advisor's contention and found it was not so. The Panel judge wrote -

2. Respondent knew or should have known of Complainant's [the Complainant is the John C. Bogle Center for Financial Literacy] mark BOGLEHEADS since both are part of the same market, yet Respondent incorporated said mark in the disputed domain names. Thus, Respondent used the mark BOGLEHEADS to create a likelihood of confusion aimed to divert consumers to Respondent's offered services.

7. Respondent has the intention to attract, for commercial gain, internet users by creating a likelihood of confusion with the Complainant's trademark due to the services offered in its website.

Also, in the conclusion, the Panel judge found that the advisor made a false statement, then attempted to mislead the Panel into believing the false statement. (pg 14)

The Panel judge wrote that the Bogleheads owned the mark BOGLEHEADS since 2006 and has been using the mark since 1998, and the mark has been in continuous use since 2000 "to provide information and research in the field of finance and financial investments." According to the Panel judge, the advisor, Michael George, in his Response to our complaint said that he bought the disputed domain names from GoDaddy in 2010. But the exhibit to the advisor's Additional Submission shows he actually bought the disputed domain names in 2012.

The Panel judge wrote some strong language - the advisor's declaration "is false . . . which is a clear attempt to mislead the Panel into believing a false statement."

So there we have it.
In other words, the advisor's position was so absurd it is incredible he did not simply agree to the original cease and desist letter written to him by Bogleheads in 2014 and avoid all this legal action.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by nisiprius » Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:50 pm

Good payoff for registering "Bogleheads" as a trademark. Nice!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mudpuppy » Sat Jan 30, 2016 1:40 pm

Glad to see the dispute was successful.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by StretchArmstrong » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:10 pm

I always found bogleheads.com (went there a few times on accident) to be a really annoying website. Glad to hear the former operation has been put down and it will now redirect to here!!

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Peculiar_Investor » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:24 pm

Congratulations and thanks for the work (and workers) involved. This is one occasion where SHOUTING IS APPROPRIATE :wink:
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by sschullo » Sat Jan 30, 2016 4:35 pm

This issue is common.
When we had a legislation in CA to reform the states insurance code, the opposition bought up 403bwise.net and 403bwise.org, to drive traffic to the opposition.

Of course, 403bwise.com was in support of the reform legislation.

Lesson is to buy up all three domains: .org, .com and .net
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Mel Lindauer » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:10 pm

sschullo wrote:This issue is common.
When we had a legislation in CA to reform the states insurance code, the opposition bought up 403bwise.net and 403bwise.org, to drive traffic to the opposition.

Of course, 403bwise.com was in support of the reform legislation.

Lesson is to buy up all three domains: .org, .com and .net


Wow, I didn't know that, Steve. Apparently the grabbing of similar domain names to mislead folks is more prevalent than I was aware.
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by FrugalInvestor » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:20 pm

Thank you Serge!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by mickeyd » Sat Jan 30, 2016 8:56 pm

As long as this stuff is not "labeled" Top Secret, it seems to be a go!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:10 pm

Bogleheads and others:

My thanks go to everyone who helped achieve this success.

Our success, thanks to generous volunteers, will discourage others who would like to capitalize on our name and reputation.

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by abuss368 » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:10 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads and others:

My thanks go to everyone who helped achieve this success.

Our success, thanks to generous volunteers, will discourage others who would like to capitalize on our name and reputation.

Best wishes.
Taylor


And keep spreading the investment advice inspired by Jack Bogle!
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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by FiveSigmas » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:15 pm

Well done and thank you Serge, Mel, and everyone else that contributed to this happy outcome.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:25 pm

Thank you, Serge and Mel.

Another strike against financial advisers.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:23 pm

sschullo wrote:Lesson is to buy up all three domains: .org, .com and .net

When Larry Auton and I decided to launch the site in 2001, I purchased both bogleheads.org and diehards.org. I preferred the former, but Larry thought bogleheads smacked of idolatry :happy so we went with diehards. I didn't buy the .com and .net versions because domain registrations were a lot more expensive back then and I wasn't sure there was even a point, since I had no idea if the site would go anywhere. By the time the site was firmly established, the other versions had already been picked up by cybersquatters and their ransom demands asking price was too high.

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Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by Alex Frakt » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:36 pm

I just remembered something. Following is an e-mail exchange with a cybersquatter in January 2012. I guess we now know who the mystery buyer was.

anonymous squatter wrote:Hi my name is [__] from [__] Domains.

I wanted to let you know that bogleheads.com is for sale....

We are selling this domain for $450.

Any future costs would be your standard yearly renewal with your
domain registrar or hosting. This is usually around $10 a year on
average.

If you are interested, send me a note and I can e-mail you the transfer details.

Thanks!


Alex Frakt wrote:I can give you $100 for your trouble. We are a non-commercial,
no-charge site that seeks to increase financial literacy. Note that
we have registered the servicemark "bogleheads" with the USPTO. It
doesn't bother us that bogleheads.com is out there since it's not in
use, but if bogleheads.com is used for commercial or other infringing
purposes, we will seek to recover the domain name through a UDNDRP
action.

Thank you,
Alex

anonymous squatter wrote:Hi Alex,
I would agree to this but i just checked my domains and this was in my
owned list, but it expired. Im not sure who owns it now. this happens
to me sometimes as i have 2000 names!

Too bad he didn't contact me while he still owned it. It would have saved everyone a lot of trouble.

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rustymutt
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Location: Oklahoma

Re: BOGLEHEADS.COM AND BOGLEHEADS.NET

Post by rustymutt » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:49 pm

Way to go Mr Krimnus! Keeping certain parts of our society contained is a blessing.
Knowledge is knowing that the Tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing better than to put the tomato in a fruit salad.

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