Business owners can be a little sensitive over their domains and competitors at times this story by Stuff.co.nz shows how one business that owns the exact match domain name FlyShop.co.nz doesn’t want anyone else using FlyShop in their domain name and sent a lawyer’s letter to ask the owner of this Dot Com domain to stop using StusFlyShop.com as his domain name.
What is he going to do next email FlyShop.com and ask them to stop selling Fishing Fly’s its crazy – I think the main concern the owner had been both businesses are based in New Zealand but they aren’t even in the same State… That’s like me going to Zagg with worlds biggest Screen Protector company and saying I want you to stop using ScreenProtector.com because I operate on ScreenProtectors.co.uk it isn’t ever going to happen.
Competition is friendly and that’s why we are all in business at the end of the day to compete against someone else and become number one based on your product and customer service not your domain name…
The Fully Story is below
The owner of a Canterbury flyfishing shop and website is defending his registration of the word “flyshop” after the owner of a Southland fishing shop said it was too similar to his name and wanted it changed.
Stu Tripney, the owner of Stu’s Fly Shop at Athol, south of Queenstown, received letters from a lawyer advising him to change the name of his shop because Methven businessman Steve Gerard had registered the word “flyshop”.
Stu’s Fishing Shop at Athol.
Stu’s Fishing Shop at Athol.
On The New Zealand Fly Fishing Forum this week, Gerard clarified his position.
Gerard had registered flyshop.co.nz as his domain name in April 2003 and began trading in 2004.
The stusflyshop domain name, which belongs to Tripney, was registered in 2006.
“Why does a business which started trading using this name ‘Stu’s Orgasmic World Famous Fishing Shop’ set up to sell online and change their name to include my business name?” Gerard wrote.
“My business started trading in 2004, and very quickly became highly visible in the online world, pretty clear to me why someone would want to try and copy my trading name, and how that might benefit them in Google.”
“When I started my business no one else in NZ was using the name flyshop, I checked diligently. Fishing shops were referred to as fishing shops, tackle shops etc or used their trading names, it was my use of the name Flyshop, and the extensive advertising of that particularly with adwords in the early days that made that name more widely known in NZ, the name is my trading name, it’s my registered business name, and my registered trademark and as the first user in NZ of that name I have the right to protect it as any business does theirs, and to register it as a trade mark as any business should.”
When contacted, Gerard said he did not want Tripney to shut his shop – just to change his website address so it wasn’t similar to his.
He had dropped any action against Tripney in September so he was unsure why he was taking action now.
“I never ever wanted him to close his business. To get him to change would take a court ruling and thousands and thousands of dollars so I wasn’t going to pursue it.”
Tripney’s Athol shop had ‘Stu’s Fishing Shop’ signage on Friday of last week.
His website www.stusflyshop.com was still operational.
“I called the business Stu’s Fly Shop, well, because my name is Stu and I own a fly shop,” Tripney said last Wednesday.
“All over the world people sell flies and rods and they’re called a fly shop – it’s like being a cafe or a supermarket – it’s generic and should never be registered.”
“If the name fly shop is so unique I would have registered it myself. It’s descriptive, it shouldn’t be able to be registered – you can’t own the industry.”
Tripney was overseas in June last year when he received a letter from Gerard’s lawyer stating that from the end of the month he had to refrain from using his Stu’s Fly Shop trademark, withdraw all products, signage, and promotional material which bear the Stu’s Fly Shop mark and obtain a new domain address.
He had tried to register the name Stu’s Fly Shop twice but was refused.
“I could change the name but there’s a huge knock on effect – it’s an iconic shop and it’s known all over the world so if I change the name people won’t find it as easy and I’ll lose business. Plus there’s all the merchandise, the t-shirts and the hats – I’ll lose all that and have to start from scratch.”
Last week he published a newsletter to anglers on his mailing list about the issue, urging them to email the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand.
“In two days they had over 200 emails, letters and calls – it really blew me away the support I got.”
Gerard said on Wednesday he was unsure why Tripney had encouraged people to do that since he had dropped any proceedings against him.
“It’s like a scam – I don’t really understand it. I’ve been told his shop has ‘for sale’ signs up outside it so maybe he’s having one more crack at my business before he closes his.”
Further attempts to contact to Tripney to clarify why his shop operates under a different name to his website, why he had changed the name of his shop, and why he had encouraged people to take action after legal action had been dropped have been unsuccessful.