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I have purchased the domain Stack Club. I want to create a new social networking site not related to Stack Exchange or Q&A sites. Would this be generally ok?

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"not related to Stack Exchange"... then why are you worried about it and why are you asking here? I don't believe the word "Stack" is owned by Stack Exchange. –  Wesley Murch Feb 28 '13 at 16:05
    
@WesleyMurch: I was asking because the idea came from the name Stack Overflow, and if I decide I want to trademark it, I wasn't sure if it would be a problem since they would both be in the "internet/social networking" category. –  Kevin Feb 28 '13 at 16:06
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@Bart Question is whether these apply here. As far as I understand Kevin wants to create a site not related to Stack Exchange... –  Spontifixus Feb 28 '13 at 16:07
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@KevinOluseunKarimu My point is, why is it called "Stack Club" if it's got nothing to do with Stack Exchange? Is it a site for cup stackers or something? If so, then I don't think you need to worry. –  Wesley Murch Feb 28 '13 at 16:09
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I'm glad this question was asked. I'm working on a commercial product that allows different programs to trade bits of memory reserved for local variables and function calls. A "Stack Exch--oh, crap.... –  Jack Maney Feb 28 '13 at 16:13
    
@Spontifixus I know. The document states in which cases you would have to pay attention to the Stack Exchange/Overflow trademarks. Given that his case falls outside of all of those cases..... (IANAL) –  Bart Feb 28 '13 at 16:13
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@WesleyMurch Why is a trademark required to be related to the product? Apple doesn't sell apples. –  James Webster Feb 28 '13 at 16:21
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@James Webster: But they do sue apple farms. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 28 '13 at 16:24
    
@JamesWebster Not sure what you mean. My only point is that if it has nothing to do with SE, then I can't fathom why one would be concerned about use of the word "Stack". –  Wesley Murch Feb 28 '13 at 16:24
    
@WesleyMurch Paranoia? Overthought? –  James Webster Feb 28 '13 at 16:27
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@BoltClock'saUnicorn: That's a satire website with made-up stories (see their about page), although this one isn't really far-fetched. –  interjay Feb 28 '13 at 16:40
    
@interjay: I know - I just thought it'd be funny to link to it since James mentioned selling apples. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Feb 28 '13 at 16:48
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It's unlikely you will ever get an official response to this. They can't in good conscience say "no, we will never sue you for using this name" because that would be a dumb and irresponsible thing to do - what if your project takes off and shifts focus towards what SO does?... I personally don't think that a site named "Stack Club" will ever get trouble from SE, Inc, though; but if you want to be safe, find another name. Why does it have to have "Stack" in it anyway? –  Pëkka Feb 28 '13 at 17:08
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The first rule of Stack Club is, you do not talk about Stack Club. –  j08691 Feb 28 '13 at 17:27

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

I find it strange that you are concerned about creating a site called "Stack Club" if you are 100% certain it has nothing to do with Stack Exchange (what does it have to do with?). That being said:

Taken from: http://stackexchange.com/legal/trademark-guidance

Do name your application with something unique. Including one of the terms, "Stack" or "Exchange" or "Overflow" in your product name is generally okay.

If your product:

  • Is totally unrelated to the Stack Exchange network
  • Does not claim to be affiliated with SE
  • Does not use any SE logos, graphics, or likenesses of them

...then you should be fine. I don't think anyone's going to pick bones with you just for using the word "Stack". There are tons of companies and projects that use the words "Stack" or "Overflow" or "Exchange".

However, as mentioned in the comments you are not immune from being sued. I don't think there's anything you can do in this world that you can't be sued for - it doesn't mean they will win. Also keep in mind that I do not represent Stack Exchange in any way and this is not an official response from them.

If you are being honest with yourself, and not trying to ride SE's success in any way, then I wouldn't worry too much.

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