Avoid these words to avoid legal headaches.

Picture of a dog lying down with a pink plastic disc

Is that a Frisbee or just a flying disc?

Two years ago, the domain name frisbees.com went on auction at GoDaddy.

It seemed like a great domain. We all remember throwing around a Frisbee as kids and maybe even as adults.

But there’s a big problem: Frisbee is not a generic name for those flying discs. It’s a trademark.

Domain investor/developer Peter Askew pointed this out during the auction:

There are a lot of words we use that seem generic but are actually trademarked.

In addition to Frisbee, here are six words that might seem generic but aren’t. Be careful about buying domains with these words.

Realtor – This is the most common word I see trip up domain investors. In fact, I even fell for this one many years ago. I thought Realtor was the generic name for the person who helps you buy and sell real estate. But in the U.S., it’s a trademark of the National Association of Realtors. It’s not too vigilant about going after it, but it has filed lawsuits to protect its brand. It also won UDRPs against AustinRealtors.com, MillionDollarRealtors.com, and other domains including the trademark.

Rollerblade – I grew up Rollerblading and playing roller hockey. We called all of the skates Rollerblades, and most of them back then were indeed the Rollerblade brand. But they’re actually inline skates and Rollerblade is a brand.

Jacuzzi – My family bought a hot tub this year but didn’t buy a Jacuzzi. The generic term is hot tub or spa; Jacuzzi is just one of the brands for spas.

Ping-Pong – It’s technically table tennis. Escalade Sports currently owns the trademark.

Taser – I’ve seen this in a handful of domains that people list for sale. Many people use this generically (he tasered him), but you should know it’s a trademark of Axon.

Band-Aid – You might want to put a Band-Aid on it, but it’s really an adhesive bandage. Although I see some plays on it, this doesn’t come up much in domain names. Johnson & Johnson holds the trademark.

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