A domain name of a locally well established business has become available. This business was taken over a few years ago by a large conglomorate and perhaps they have either let the domain go willingly or forgotten about it.
Can anyone tell me about what limitations there would be using this domain name?
A friend of mine thinks it would be worth purchasing the domain to keep in case they want to use it again in later years.
What do folk think of this?
Is it ethical? Is it wise?
If the conglomerate still trades using the name, or it is a trademark, or if your local jurisdiction legislates against 'passing off' then it's unwise. Legal precedent in recent years for internic and nominet top level domain disputes has generally favoured large companies. Do a search for 'domain name disputes' or similar to get an idea of how these scenarios typically play out before proceeding.
EC is correct.
There has been and still is a market in "valuable" domain names. Historically, if you have a valid claim to a domain name (as mentioned, trademark, company name, etc), then it will be difficult (if not impossible) for you to retain a domain name - but only if you have "deep pockets" and can afford a protracted legal battle. It's just not worth it unless the domain is your name/company/trademark - and extortion by legal costs IS legal and will win too many cases.
Could you contact the conglomerate and inquire about their intentions for the domain? I have had people call me regarding domains I had for my recently sold well established company. While it was not a conglomerate, I appreciated when I received calls and would get back to the inquirer and let them know if they could or could not use it.
This however defeats your intention of profiting from perhaps a mistake on their part. Like DK and EastCoast said their are too many reasons not to do it unless you can get written permission from the conglomerate.
Do take note of the possibility of trademark infringement if you intend to purchase the domain.
If it as a succesfull brand with good credibility. Audience will think that it is a relaunch of it if you are establish that domain again and they will expect the same stuff which it was showing before going down. Technically there will not be any issue using that domain.
DylanC is correct. You should check if there is no trademark infringement. You can use domain.
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