Chalk this one up to something that should be common sense, but I received an email solicitation this morning that made me think it serve some good to share my thoughts. Buying domain names with common trademarks is a bad idea. Sending out email solicitations trying to sell these domain names is an even worse idea.
No, I am not going to buy a domain name with Google, Microsoft, or Harrods in it. I am certainly not going to buy an exact brand match domain name with a popular TM in it in an obscure ccTLD or new gTLD. Not only would owning a domain name like this expose my company to unnecessary legal risk, I do not think any big brand would ever even consider purchasing one of these domain names.
I do not really see any upside to registering obvious trademark domain names in 2020. The ones that could get traffic to monetize are long gone. A large brand will likely file a UDRP if it wants to have a trademark related domain name or it simply wants to prevent a third party from owning it. Worse, if a trademark owner wants to make an example of someone, they could easily file a lawsuit.
Registering obvious trademark domain names with the names of unique big brands in them is generally considered playing with fire. Some people might get lucky and not be bothered by the brand, but that likely means the domain name is worth so little the brand owner does not even care about someone else owning it. Others could end up dealing with legal threats or legal actions. All of this can end up causing a waste of time and expense without any potential positive outcome.
I would strongly recommend that new (and other) domain investors steer totally clear of obvious trademark domain names. There is nuance in trademark law, but I don’t think there is much leeway owning domain names with obvious trademarks in them (like JetBlue, Reebok, or Goldman Sachs, for example). If, for some reason, your opinion is different than mine on owning TM domain names, I think sending email solicitations to try and sell them is a terrible idea, particularly to other domain investors.