TrueLocal Cloned Down Under

23 comments

TW friend BakedJake has worked hard to build up the TrueLocal brand, but that did not stop some Australian news outfit from cloning the brand and launching TrueLocal.com.au.

I emailed Jake Baillie, TrueLocal's president, about it. He said:

News Limited was made aware of TrueLocal’s existence and expansion plans for Australia in 2006 prior to the launch of their service, but decided to proceed despite the obvious brand confusion. TrueLocal will be taking all appropriate steps to protect our brand in Australia and worldwide.

Pretty bad move for a large news organization isn't it?

Comments

where is it written that

where is it written that large companies play fairly? i'm going to venture a guess here that jake does not have a trademark on file in au.

They lose traffic

They're going to market the heck out of truelocal.com.au, and still have half their traffic type in truelocal.com. That's a pretty good reason not to go tromping on someone else's domain variants if you're planning on marketing your own site.

Plus - isn't there some sort of international recognition of trademarks? i.e. these folks can't just go around registering microsoft.com.au can they? Maybe they can, but it doesn't make much sense.

What do you expect...

from a continent populated entirely by convicts and prostitutes? Used to date a girl from Melbourne - she loved it when I said that.

>international

>international trademarks

madrid protocol, but i believe each country still charges a fee

international trademarks

Watch the disputes on this happen with the new .eu domains.

Many different people have trademarks registered in different European countries and are now all competing for the rights to use the .eu domain.

News Corp have lots of cash and one day are going to want that .com domain name:)

Have fun Jake.

Doug

working on search by state

working on search by state support - interesting interface issues come with that (where do you put the centroid/start point of the search?)

we have the ability, but need to make interface decisions to do it.

>centroid/start point of the

>centroid/start point of the search

easy. declare the state capital as centroid --whether it is or it isn't doesn't really matter.

i have a certain small town in eastern nc that i use as a test. truelocal did fine, jake.

nice db work.

Happened to me too

A couple of companies used my brand name years ago with a .co.uk and a .ch and neither of them show up in the top 100 even in their local versions of Google.

Maybe Jake will be as lucky and the Aussies won't rank either.

some Australian news outfit?

News Limited is the Australian arm of News Corp, aka Rupert Murdoch, to describe it as "some Australian news outfit" is like describing the Titanic as a small sailing ship. Also doesn't matter who was there first, try to mess with Murdoch you'll lose.

an interesting move by news corp

If TrueLocal had an international trademark prior to the registration date of truelocal.com.au then they would be able to apply to have the .au domain handed over to them. But I doubt News Corp would have launched a new service without checking to see that they were in the legal clear.

As for users typing in dot-com by mistake, well I think that both sites will get bugger all type-in traffic from Australian users. Why? TrueLocal is an unknown brand here. So why would they get type-in traffic (until the brand gets established)?

The way they'll generate traffic in the meantime is from the large News Interactive network of websites (ie, news.com.au, careerone.com.au etc).

too bad

Maybe it's not too late to make up and be friends. There are all sorts of clever things the .com owner can do with .au traffic.... it would have been wise to hammer out some agreement ahead of time (as noted).

As for "centroid" and States... isn't that what market areas are for? LOL... go ahead and try using capitols in the Northeast when the entire State of Northern New Jersey (9000 people per sq mile) works in New York City, the population of the State of Southern New Jersey works around Philly, and the capitol is a unique demographic (socio-economic and otherwise) right to Philly. But I digress.... I'm sure Jake doesn't need advice from me :-)

>I'm sure Jake doesn't need

>I'm sure Jake doesn't need advice from me

Same here, but the point was that it doesn't really matter where you pick as a starting point as long as it can be defended as a logical default. And if I'm dealing with JohnQ I wouldn't want to try and explain why market areas are perfectly logical. Besides, done with, errr, sensitivity you can get another page impression out of the "you're a dumbass for searching this way, but here's your damn result anyway" page

you're a dumbass for searching this way...

Results for wifi cafe in Orem, Utah:
Did you mean fifi cake?

Ummm...fifi cake??? Oh yeah, I'm sure that's what I meant :-)

Honestly, I did get good results from my first two searches, but that TrueLocal "suggestion" was just too funny to not share.

They're going to market the

They're going to market the heck out of truelocal.com.au, and still have half their traffic type in truelocal.com. That's a pretty good reason not to go tromping on someone else's domain variants if you're planning on marketing your own site.

Australia is almost entirely com.au. Unlike the UK and the US I've found since moving here that almost no businesses use .com .

hey sistasledge

Quote:
Honestly, I did get good results from my first two searches, but that TrueLocal "suggestion" was just too funny to not share.

On that note, try Google for "f*ck the white hats" which is a query I found on an SEO site this morning. Google suggests you may have meant "f*ck the White House". Too funny!

I've never seen so many cusswords on Google

Too bad I don't get to see that, John. I Googled it and don't get any suggestions from them:-(

It's interesting to see that the results returned only offered one site on the first page related to SEO...none on the second or third page. Perhaps black-hatters don't say F*ck'em that much? I didn't go any deeper than that - I've never seen so many cusswords on Google!

Absolute crap...

Absolute crap... Truelocal.com has no legal right to truelocal.com.au, unless they have registed a business name with ASIC, which from my searches, they haven't. Even then, it is first in, first served, as each business name can be registered once within every state.

Aaron, you lost it at "TW Friend BakedJake"... no such thing as friends in business. I posted more open thoughts at http://seo.anthonyparsons.com/forum/thread1356.html

hmmm

well maybe Aaron should of used the words "seo friend BakedJake" but what bit of Aarons post gives reference to "friends in business"

Good to see I'm not the only one quick on the trigger

" no such thing as friends in business".

Depends on how you do business I suppose. I've got plenty of friends in my business.

And your linked post has some assumptions that are incorrect. Don't worry, I've been there :).

Snipped from theage.com.au

http://theage.com.au/articles/2006/02/02/1138836363279.html

Will the real TrueLocal please stand up?

Jake Baillie, president of TrueLocal, said: "News Ltd was made aware of TrueLocal's existence and expansion plans for Australia in 2006 prior to the launch of their service, but decided to proceed despite the obvious brand confusion. TrueLocal will be taking all appropriate steps to protect our brand in Australia and worldwide."

A spokeswoman from News Interactive, the News Ltd division behind the venture, said the company had no comment to make other than that it had launched in Australia first.

Lawyers in Australia say the best way to protect a brand is to secure a trademark in all the geographies that a company might want trade in at a future date.

However, if this step has not been taken and another company begins to trade using that brand then, depending on the situation, there are a number of other arguments a company might put forward to reclaim ownership, said John Stinson, business law specialist at Conway Maccallum.

He said one such argument might centre on the international nature of an online brand, which can effectively be accessed from anywhere in the world.

"Today's usage of modern technology and the internet raises a very interesting question about whether people are using branding in other countries that is accessible via the internet in Australia," he said.

Helping?

Is there some way the rest of us could help from a distance? Some tag love for the real TrueLocal, perhaps?

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