Legal Letter from eBay/PayPal – on PayPal Alternatives

After years of writing to PayPal to solicit a reply, which they eventually did (via unofficial channels), I decided to buy a domain called PayPalAlternatives.biz to highlight the alternative payment systems that users can opt for in countries where either PayPal is not available or restricted.

Here is the test of the letter I received:

 

from ip@ebayenforcement.com
reply-to ip@ebayenforcement.com
to babushka99@gmail.com
date Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 12:30 AM
subject Your Domain Registration – paypalalternative.biz [Case #49847]
mailed-by ebayenforcement.com
Header
Credentials 

We have noted your registration through the local Internet registry in your country of a domain which incorporates the trademark PAYPAL. While we realize that you likely registered the domain with the best of intentions and without awareness of the law in this area, we need to inform you that use of that domain is problematic.

PayPal, Inc. (“PayPal”) does not permit use of its trademarked name PAYPAL in a domain name.

Such use is in violation of international intellectual property regulations and the trademark laws of many countries worldwide.

Additionally, arbitrary use of the word PAL in a domain is problematic if the connected website is used in association with a business making use of PayPal or operating in the same sphere of business as PayPal.

PayPal adopted the name and trademark PayPal in September 1999 and, since that time, PayPal has actively used the PAYPAL name and trademark in connection with its online payment and related services, including maintaining the web sites www.paypal.com and numerous country-specific websites in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The PAYPAL trademark is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet.  PayPal owns exclusive trademark rights to the PAYPAL name in many jurisdictions internationally, including related common law rights. Accordingly, PayPal enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.

PayPal has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its services. As a result of PayPal’s pioneering efforts and its devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality services, the PayPal name and trademarks are widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.

While PayPal respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, PayPal must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, PayPal must insist that you not use the domain name for any purpose, do not sell, offer to sell or transfer the domain name to a third party, and instead simply let the domain registration expire.

We regret any inconvenience caused you, but we require your written confirmation that you will at your earliest convenience discontinue any use of your PAYPAL domain, and will then allow its registration to lapse.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.

Best regards,

Edith
eBay Inc.
Legal Department

Now, whilst I really wanted to comment on it, both my US and Pakistani Legal Council has requested I do not do so.

Here was my reply to this email:

Dear Edith,

Thank you for your email. Unfortunately I do not agree to your claim that you have taken on the domain. I would like to counter your arguments, but I have been advised by my legal council against it. I am absolutely sick and tired of the bullying attitude of eBay/PayPal whenever a voice against it is raised. How come paypalsucks.com continues to function. Never mind you need not answer.
Should you wish to initiate any legal proceeding against this domain, that is your prerogative, just as it is mine in return to do the same.
The domain was bought with the intention to highlight in the form of a personal blog, the payment industry systems that stand as an alternates to PayPal and I shall go ahead with that original plan, until and unless legally restrained to do so by a court of law that is recognized.
Regards,
Faisal Khan.

I intend not to be bullied by eBay / PayPal. Both these organization have a lot of explaining to do, and chose to do so, only when they feel its there time to do so. 1,000s of people suffer by the injustice done to their PayPal account everyday  - it is not even funny. If you visit websites like paypalsucks.com, screwpaypal.com and many others, you will get an idea of what I am talking about.

I have full intentions of publishing a personalized blog that highlights the various payment systems, that pose as an alternative to PayPal. If the domain is ever snatched away from me, believe me, a very befitting reply in the form of a large scale campaign against PayPal would be made by me.

I was (and perhaps still am) an ardent lover/fan of the PayPal money system and keep wondering why they continue to shun Pakistan, but when they stoop down to dirty legal arm-twisting like this – rest assured, I too shall twist their arm in return.

11 comments
WaqasRabbani
WaqasRabbani

i really applaud the sentiment, and i feel you were right to rullfle up those high and mighty feathers.i worry about the lack of knowledge people have in this regard. most people say it really dosent matter that we dont have paypal in pakistan, but they dont realize that the introduction of paypal would open up great streams of foreign income.

basically all organizations providing I.T services would have an expanded and secure market to do business which would in turn open up the bottleneck in I.T based employment.how long will we continue to do business in a failing economy, for a person deeply involved in the sales and marketing line for the past 8 years of my life, i feel that our economy demands expanded markets. PayPal is fast becoming a need for Pakistan we dont just want Paypal we need Paypal, and i guess the sooner we realize it the better.

tahoecale
tahoecale

Hello everyone i just wanted to let everyone know about http://www.oceansbay.com its just like craigslist FREE to sell never a fee.. but with the features of ebay check it out and start posting auctions or buy it now!

meikeimeh
meikeimeh

yes exactly, this is a schocking news. why won't you try to communicate to the administrators of paypal so they might help you in your queries.

meikeimeh
meikeimeh

Oh, this is a shocking story about paypal.

Why is that happend?

AlorsEtToi
AlorsEtToi

babushka99. As I stated previously, "I have never encountered a problem with Paypal." If your experience has been different, you certainly have the right to voice your opinion.

shobz
shobz

Bravo Faisal.Great job!

AlorsEtToi
AlorsEtToi

I have never encountered a problem with Paypal. What is unfortunate is that when the business is extended to other countries, it seems complicated to control and maintain the same standard of service and customer care. I friend of mine recently accepted a payment from someone in Mexico.

The payment went into her credit card instead of the bank account. My friend immediately issued a refund only to get a suspicious reply, void of any official Papal logo or otherwise, requesting the same refund and advising her how to go about doing so with various links included therein. I stopped my friend from doing so, and instead we sent screen shots of the transaction. When we inquired with Paypal, they had never sent the letter.

babushka99
babushka99 moderator

@AlorsEtToi The person who opened "www.screwpaypal.com" was a very respected Seller on eBay until one day PayPal screwed the person over. I personally know of so many examples where PayPal is sitting over money (which add up to Millions of US$) that cannot be claimed etc. by their rightful users and becomes PayPal's personal money bank on which they earn an interest.

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