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RegionalHelpWanted suing for trademark ‘HelpWanted’
I was recently tipped off to a court case involving the job board network RegionalHelpWanted. In the case, they claimed exclusive rights to the use of “Helpwanted”. Here’s a link to the case. They are suing a company called “Olson Media” which I’ve never heard of. If I had to guess that might be the owner of LocalHelpWanted.net, but don’t quote me. At the bottom of their sites in the footer they say “we are not affiliated” with several other job boards and RHW is among those listed. The case was filed 7 months ago so it may have been settled already. But if anyone knows more about this story give me a shout.
Here’s the gist of the suit:
Through RegionalHelpWanted’s advertising, online coverage, and continuous and exclusive use over a period of nearly 15 years, RegionalHelpWanted’s geographic descriptor + “help wanted” trademark and naming convention (the Case 1:14-cv-03611-WHP Document 2 Filed 05/20/14 Page 4 of 45 5 “REGIONALHELPWANTED Mark”) has acquired distinctiveness and secondary meaning in the minds of consumers, such that a person encountering websites, advertisements and other materials displaying a geographic descriptor + “help wanted” and offering similar services, is likely to believe that the source or sponsor of those websites or advertisements is RegionalHelpWanted, or that they are affiliated with RegionalHelpWanted.
RegionalHelpWanted has prior and superior use of the REGIONALHELPWANTED Mark over any other entity in the world by using the marks to identify the source of goods, services, and information through its Internet websites located on the 452 domain names that are identical to these marks.
Full Documents are on Pacer.gov
I’m not a laywer but I thought generic names were not able to be trademarked. Though if I read the above correctly they appear to be after any job sites that have a specific region in front of the help wanted domain name. There are other “Help Wanted” sites such as HelpWanted.com that have existed for many years. HelpWanted.com appears to be an affiliate of Indeed.com. I’m not sure who owns LocalHelpWanted.net but to the average job seeker I’m not sure they would know the difference between the 2 companies other than the design of the website. They both do the same thing.
Since RHW was bought by OnTarget Jobs a few years ago they seem to be in protection mode. This is a case that bears watching though. It’s curious because just about every job board uses the word ‘job‘ in it so does that mean any job board can sue any other job board? It could come down to which company was first to market. If in fact they are suing the owner of LocalHelpWanted.net that domain name appears to have been registered in 2006, well after RHW first came to market.
In the early days (1999-2000) when I ran FairfieldCountyJobs.com, RHW launched FairfieldCountyHelpWanted.com and started doing radio ads. People heard those ads and began confusing my site with theirs. I happened to be first in that market and it ended up being to my advantage because people were always telling me “oh I heard your ad on the radio” when they were actually hearing ads for FCHW. It gave my site extra credibility in the market.
5 Basic job board questions answered (member only)
TalentAlerts to launch email job alerts in 2015
TalentAlerts was developed by the folks behind TalentDesk. It offers a hosted job alert solution for job board operators who would like to monetize their job seeker records. They emailed me recently to announce the news of this new job alert service. It will allow other job boards to earn revenue by driving traffic to jobs within the Talent Alert database.
Here’s my Q&A with their rep.
Q. Where do the jobs come from?
A. The sponsored jobs in the job alert emails come from the large aggregators. We currently partner with two traffic brokers and are discussions with several others.
Q. How will the job board be paid?
A. We will send them a check
Q. What if the job board already has email alerts for their own jobs?
A. Do you mean what if a job boards has implemented their own job alert system? There is probably not much downside other than potentially sending two emails to the same job seeker once in a while.
The job board could also completely outsource job alerts to TalentAlerts. We can take their feed and will include their matching jobs in their alerts for at no charge.
– Very little competition exists in the hosted job alerts market today. I believe only 2 other vendors offer this type solution today. Margins are very high in this space.
– TalentAlerts is very simple to use and only requires job seeker email address, job alert location and job alert keyword. These values can be easily extracted from job application records.
– TalentAlerts is fully CAN-Spam Compliant. Job alert emails are fully white labeled and will come from the job board operator’s domain name.
– TalentAlerts has partnered with leading traffic brokers to ensure a large inventory of sponsored jobs
– TalentAlerts has been highly optimized from millions of alerts sent over the past 12 months
– TalentAlerts will offer highly competitive revenue share to job board operators. TalentAlerts will initially offer 100% revenue share to small job boards with less than 50k job alerts. Large job boards with > 50k alerts who sign up in the first 6 months will receive 75%+ revenue share.
– TalentAlerts will send free traffic to job board partners. Free traffic comes from expired alert traffic and unfilled ad slots.
– The product will launch in early 2015. Interested job board operators can request an invitation here: http://www.talentalerts.com/
I like how this job board customized their header (member only)
Monster gets the dot Monster domain extension
I’m not sure why they need this but job search company Monster has beat out the Monster cable company for exclusive access to the .Monster domain extension.
I guess it could useful for branding content like articles/ job content but its a curious move by the new Monster after rebranding themselves and launching new products. According to the press release;
The proposed gTLD will be a restricted, exclusively-controlled gTLD where only Applicant, affiliated entities and authorized business partners will be permitted to register second-level domains for Applicant business purposes only for a term of one to ten years.
Job boards in the headlines
Leave it to me to keep you abreast of the latest job board news. Here’s some of the headlines that caught my eye. Thinking of starting your own job board or need help with your existing one? Contact me, I can help.
- Realmatch adds more job sites to its portfolio. The company also changed CEO’s recently. Read it.
- Adicio snags ERE media. I’m not sure who ERE was using before but this is a nice win for Adicio. Seems like the top software vendors are really poaching each other lately. Read it.
- Jobboard.io adds logos to job listings. –> Christian is doing a great job iterating on my favorite job board software. Read it.
- InstaJob! My visual job posting tool for employers gets an iOS update. Read it.
- Healthcare job postings on the HEALTHeCAREERS Network increased 65 percent year over year. Read it.
- Intern Avenue making waves in the UK recruitment market. Read it.
- 420careers.com acquired. Career site for the marijuana industry. Smokin! Read it.
Got some news about a job board making news? Let me know.
How to monetize job related domains from scratch (member only)
The Jobs2Careers interface has a lot to like
Jobs2Careers, a pay per applicant job aggregator has been on a roll lately. They were named to the Inc.com list of fastest growing companies (2014) and they’re about to move into brand new offices in Austin Texas. I gave their site a look the other day and was highly impressed by its design, and UI.
There’s a lot to like about how they have constructed the job search experience. The site has a sharp, clean design with a strong color palette and they make the states browsable up front via the home page. If I was building a site today from the ground up, I’d emulate their design direction in a heartbeat. It’s simple, strong and effective. That lets the job seeker accomplish their task with minimal effort.
Here are some other aspects of the site that stand out to me.
They also do a great job integrating Adsense into the site content.
And their Post a Job icon is clearly visible on all pages throughout the site.
Jobs in Drones for sale
Drones are HOT. The industry for them is about to explode and I realized this last year after researching the industry. So in late 2013 I launched Jobs in Drones to take advantage of this trend. Its one of the next great job NICHES. But I already have a second site that targets ‘UAV jobs’ so JiD is now redundant in my site portfolio. It runs on SimplyHired’s platform and it gets solid search engine traffic. In fact it is #1 on google for “drone jobs“. http://www.jobsindrones.com/
Its averaging about 1,500 Uniques per month almost all of which comes in from search engine traffic. It picked up 2 postings in the past year even though I never touched the site after launch. It even comes with a homepage and a short guide I put together about working in the Drone industry. I’m selling the site for $999 or best offer.
Here’s the stats from Statcounter. If you are interested in picking up a niche job site for cheap, nows the time. Just contact me.