Can you use a brand name or trademark inside your domain name such as google-help.com or ebay-buying.com or could Google or eBay shut you down?
It’s best to avoid using trademarks in a domain name – that’s the purpose of trademarks – to protect the use of the name. There are valid uses but even having a valid use can land you with a lawsuit. It’s up to you whether you whether you want to risk it.
Example: Perfume Bay eventually lost their lawsuit (sued by eBay) and are renaming their business to BeautyEncounter. Perfume Bay made a name for themselves via this escapade (unfortunately under their old name) and were featured in Inc magazine, Entrepeneur magazine and numerous online blogs and news stories.
You can read the whole story at MakeNoScents where the owners of PerfumeBay finally (in 2007) decided to start blogging the lawsuit initiated by eBay in 2004.
The blog is at http://www.makesnoscents.com/
Apparently eBay sued AutoBay, RentBay and even CoinBay.
If you choose a domain which is designed to confuse or mislead because of a trademark in the name, at the very least expect some attention from the trademark owner. At least be prepared to fight or give in when the lawsuit arrives! And if you use or mis-use a trademark which is actively pursued by it’s owner (eg eBay, Apple, iTunes, Google, etc) then anticipate the letter sooner rather than later!
Assuming you’ve spent time and money SEOing a decent engine position for your site, you’ll kick yourself if you have to throw it away.
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