Q & A
Q. Some domain rental services match potential users with domain owners; is this what you are doing?
A. To clarify, VISIONxe is not a rental service. We are providing a “connection” service; and specific to the question, we do own all the domains in our portfolio. We have acquired them methodically and meticulously over years.
Q. Do you think Visionxe has enough names to serve the entire industry?
A. We own over 5000 online-billboard names now (Jan 2019). We have plans to secure more and will partner with other parties who own names, some of which are premium and many others which are very useful. Our service will be scaled in a number of different ways.
Q. Will we still need to use QR codes on our ads? I mean can your domains be converted to QR codes?
A. Think about this; would a consumer be more likely to stop on the street, hindering traffic, load an app, try to focus on a QR code, try again, then get a link to your site, or would they just type into their browser “CrazyHungry.Tel’?
And they could type it in while sitting on the bus or train, when they get to the office, or after they get home that night. With our great collection of familiar, memorable names, consumers would be much more likely to engage. If you think you still need the QR code we provide the equivalent QR code for each domain. An agency can easily generate its own QR-code for each URL. (See our News and Media section for great info on QR codes and Hashtags.)
Q. Do you see yourself offering more services or scaling this service in the future?
A. To enhance our service, we plan to create, in addition to our Online-Billboard, a ready to use feature-rich digital stage/showroom, a landing stage if you will. We shall also build an ecosphere (an adosphere, social media buzz, blogs, perks etc.) around each property, so that interest is generated for the property itself and its activity. We also plan to build out a mobile app which will interface with each property, and offer information and engagement beyond the immediate campaign. Of course this will be done in conjunction with marketers and ad agencies.
Q. Will your service replace QR codes?
A. We had addressed this before. No it can’t and it does not need to. QR codes are dying. However our suite can service a significant chunk of the world’s premium ads. QR codes can, if someone really wants to, complement our suite of memorable, classic names. Actually our names will forever be complimentary to any new connection technology that comes along. Think about it. Is it easier to load an app (if you have it on your device), stand still, stop the traffic, delay your arrival for work or miss the bus, than to type in CrazyDeal.TEL in your browser? And you can type it in now, on the bus, in the taxi, or later while at your desk at work.
Q. Would NFC make this service redundant?
A. Actually no. NFC is what it is- Near Field Communications – Communicating devices have to be very close to each other. NFC can be useful for kiosks in the street, bus shelters, within buildings etc., but here again, to use the service, people are forced to stop and engage. With one of our memorable URLs they can choose to engage now or when they get on the bus or later at home or office. As we have said before, our suite of 5000+ great billboards would compliment any connection technology – but for OOH, TV and Print, you cannot beat a greatname.url.
Q. You mentioned different ad connection paradigms in the future – what do you have in mind?
A. An example of this: The car of the future will be connected to the internet. In a mobile world we spend a lot of time driving but we cannot look at videos. We may see an ad on a billboard and we may want more information. So, while driving we may choose to activate an audio message through the car’s communication system by voicing the great slogan we just saw on the billboard.
Q. Do you see a problem with some of the slogans you are using being someone else’s trademark?
A. We respect the trademark and service mark rights of all entities. Please read our Trademark Policy page for details. VISIONxe offers the service of online billboards and a connector to these properties. The billboards are blank canvasses on which a marketer can place advertising copy. The ‘connector’ is the address of the billboard, the URL, which by virtue of it being an internet-based address offers a path to the advertiser’s online material. The address are labelled by words and phrases which are regularly used in transient advertising copy world-wide, in all jurisdictions. These words or phrases serve to highlight the virtues of products or services. They can appear in any magazine cover or TV ad, or billboard, at any time, as part of the copy without necessarily invoking a thought or image of a brand which may claim a trademark right on the term.
Using our service an advertiser may choose to use a property the address of which is reflected in the words of the advertising copy. This serves as an effective and efficient way of making the connection between the offline copy and the online material.
Any words or terms or phrases or slogans which are inherently distinctive, or which have attained secondary meaning, or which in our reasonable judgement may cause confusion in the minds of the public with regards to the source of the goods or services, will not be offered.
Visionxe offers a blank canvas and its address. It is the responsibility of the advertisers to ensure that their use of the property and its address does not infringe on the trademark or service mark rights of third parties. This is spelled out in the Terms of Service.
Q. With regards to the question previously asked about trademarks, does it matter that your names point to a URL or is URL based?
A. Not exactly sure what the question is. However here is a scenario that you may be alluding to. As an example – the phrase ‘Get Started’ is a trademark registered on May 27 2008, by a California company selling cosmetics. Yet ‘Get Started’ could and is used all over the world in hundreds of instances each day as a call to action inviting viewers to see or view or investigate many different types of products or services which have nothing to do with cosmetics. ‘Get Started’ may also be a call to link to a website to get more information. The fact that the medium is a website (an online brochure), and not offline copy, is immaterial and irrelevant. A nice illustration of this is on the USTPO site which has a “Get Started” button which links to a webpage.
The same thinking applies if a phrase can be used to highlight the virtues of numerous products or services and that phrase is used in numerous publications in advertising copy. If that phrase has not already acquired secondary meaning, and the use of it for a product or service not related to that for which it is trademarked will not cause confusion in the minds of the public then the use of that phrase in any transient advertising copy should not be deemed to be infringing on the trademark. Again it should not matter whether the advertising medium is an offline billboard or an online billboard.
For example the phrase ‘Welcome Home’ is registered as a trademark in the U.S. by multiple entities offering different types of services. Is it reasonable or fair to suggest that housing developers across the world are now forbidden to use that common English language phrase in advertising copy, calling potential buyers’ attention to a new sub-division? And if that phrase by virtue of it being URLized, can be used as a natural connector to an online brochure which extols the virtues and value of that project, does this use rise to the level of being a ‘dilutor’ of someone’s trade or service mark? How different is it from a hashtag? Does it cause confusion in the minds of consumers? We say no.
Please note that our opinion or position is meant to offer perspective and is not a substitute for legal advice from your lawyers.
Here is some reference material:
Third Party Trademarks: Fair Use or Foul?
Q. We are the owner of a trademarked ‘every-day’ slogan. Do you understand our company’s concern for our brand if we cannot have full of control its use as a URL?
A. It is quite understandable that in the days when only .com and .net were available, brand owners and trademark holders would have had serious cause for concern if someone else were to somehow own their trademark.com. These few TLD’s were the only paths to recognition on the world wide web.
Now with two thousand + new TLD’s coming on stream (not twenty, not two hundred, but TWO THOUSAND +), and an almost infinite number more possible, is it fair, or reasonable, to suggest or consider that the owner of a trademarked phrase or slogan, a phrase which is in common everyday use, should deprive the public, and all of industry, of the right to use and enjoy and benefit from all 2000+URL’s – ? even though the use of the URLized phrase/slogan is not in relation to the goods or services provided by the mark holder? One can understand that if a mark is inherently distinctive or has acquired secondary meaning, or if the use of it is likely to cause confusion, then the mark owner has a right to vigorously fight infringement. But short of this it is neither fair, nor reasonable to restrict its use.
Q. Do you see a problem with one of your domains being used now for a campaign, and then for another brand’s campaign two months from now?
A. Not at all. We shall provide agencies with a history of use for a domain they are interested in. They can make the judgement call on it. If it is being used in another state or country then there is no problem. But think about the residual ‘juice’ that can come from using a great phrase after it has been used in the past. The great thing about this service is that brands do not have to tie themselves continuously to tired slogans. The advertising world and all of industry now has at its disposal a massive suite of great words and phrases – URLized, to call upon at any time.
Q. How do you see this mitigating the effects of ad-blocking which is riling the industry now?
A. Ad-blocking is only an online phenomenon, so our service cannot impact this situation. However the value of OOH, Print, Radio and TV advertising would only rise and that is where VISIONxe’s suite of domains would play a significant role.
Q. With the advent of hundreds or thousands of new URL’s coming on stream, does this devalue your service?
A. Think about this. The advent of all these new URL’s makes our service more valuable to advertisers as they have almost all they can ask for in terms of Great Names.URL, all in one TLD.
Thanks all for the questions to date.
Feel free to email us with any questions or suggestions or if you would like to explore any collaborative relationship.
And to see a graphic display of some of our fantastic names visit www.VXE.Tel
The VISIONxe Team