Instead of filing a legal dispute, Tumblr buys the domain name

Not all domain name registrations that infringe on a popular trademark end in legal dispute…some end in a pay day for the owner.  

That’s what happened with the domain name this week.

On December 14, switched owners from Kevin Marsh of Ohio to the tenth largest social network in the world: Tumblr.

What’s interesting about, is that it hosted Marsh’s Tumblr blog – Willcodeforfoo (screenshot).

I reached out to Marsh by email for some information on the exchange and to see if Tumblr had sent a cease-and-desist letter.  I was surprised to learn, that not only was Tumblr not looking to pick a legal fight, but that “They [Tumblr Inc] were really great throughout the process”, according to Marsh.

Due to a non disclosure agreement, Marsh wasn’t able to share many details about the transaction.

What he did tell me about the price tag, was that the sale amount ended in a “0”.

While most professional domainers would never recommend registering a domain that infringes on a trademark, sometimes offering cash for a domain can be quicker and cheaper for big companies trying to obtain that domain. 

For the record, Tumblr Inc. does own the trademark on ‘Tumblr’. 

The company, which has only submitted one trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to date, filed the application (Serial Number: 77601575) back in 2008, a year after the company was founded. was first registered in June 2006 by the company’s founder David Karp. was registered a month later in July by Marsh, according to WHOIS history records furnished by DomainTools.


Tumblr registers nearly two dozen more domain names like

WHOIS record for

Tumblr has been doing something unusual this past week – registering new domain names.

The social networking company which has been on the rise, only owned a handful of names according to WHOIS records prior to this past week, but now has added almost two dozen domains ranging from to

Here’s the full list of .com domains that Tumblr registered through the brand protection company MarkMonitor on October 31, 2011.

Last week, Tumblr made several private domain name registrations also through MarkMonitor, that hint at a new product or service called ‘Tumblr Seltzer’.  The domain registrations included,, and


Is Tumblr working on a secret yet-to-be-revealed project called Seltzer?

Tumblr Seltzer

Tumblr is continuing its rise in the social media ranks, with milestones such as President Obama’s campaign for 2012 experimenting with the platform.

Now, it appears Tumblr is getting ready to roll out something new called Seltzer.

Several private domain name registrations were made this week through the brand protection and domain management company MarkMonitor, that hint at something new like

The domain registrations include,,, and even

While Tumblr Inc has a record of using to purchase domain names, it may be using MarkMonitor in hopes of keeping future projects a secret until they are officially released.  MarkMonitor is used by several of the social media heavyweights including Google and Facebook.