After years of writing to PayPal to solicit a reply, which they eventually did (via unofficial channels), I decided to buy a domain called PayPalAlternatives.biz to highlight the alternative payment systems that users can opt for in countries where either PayPal is not available or restricted.
Here is the test of the letter I received:
We have noted your registration through the local Internet registry in your country of a domain which incorporates the trademark PAYPAL. While we realize that you likely registered the domain with the best of intentions and without awareness of the law in this area, we need to inform you that use of that domain is problematic.
PayPal, Inc. (“PayPal”) does not permit use of its trademarked name PAYPAL in a domain name.
Such use is in violation of international intellectual property regulations and the trademark laws of many countries worldwide.
Additionally, arbitrary use of the word PAL in a domain is problematic if the connected website is used in association with a business making use of PayPal or operating in the same sphere of business as PayPal.
PayPal adopted the name and trademark PayPal in September 1999 and, since that time, PayPal has actively used the PAYPAL name and trademark in connection with its online payment and related services, including maintaining the web sites www.paypal.com and numerous country-specific websites in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. The PAYPAL trademark is one of the most famous trademarks on the Internet. PayPal owns exclusive trademark rights to the PAYPAL name in many jurisdictions internationally, including related common law rights. Accordingly, PayPal enjoys broad trademark rights in its name.
PayPal has made a substantial investment in developing and providing its services. As a result of PayPal’s pioneering efforts and its devoting substantial effort and resources to providing only high quality services, the PayPal name and trademarks are widely known among the consuming public worldwide, and the name and trademarks embody substantial and valuable goodwill.
While PayPal respects your right of expression and your desire to conduct business on the Internet, PayPal must enforce its own rights in order to protect its valuable and famous trademark. For these reasons, and to avoid consumer confusion, PayPal must insist that you not use the domain name for any purpose, do not sell, offer to sell or transfer the domain name to a third party, and instead simply let the domain registration expire.
We regret any inconvenience caused you, but we require your written confirmation that you will at your earliest convenience discontinue any use of your PAYPAL domain, and will then allow its registration to lapse.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation.
Now, whilst I really wanted to comment on it, both my US and Pakistani Legal Council has requested I do not do so.
Here was my reply to this email:
I intend not to be bullied by eBay / PayPal. Both these organization have a lot of explaining to do, and chose to do so, only when they feel its there time to do so. 1,000s of people suffer by the injustice done to their PayPal account everyday – it is not even funny. If you visit websites like paypalsucks.com, screwpaypal.com and many others, you will get an idea of what I am talking about.
I have full intentions of publishing a personalized blog that highlights the various payment systems, that pose as an alternative to PayPal. If the domain is ever snatched away from me, believe me, a very befitting reply in the form of a large scale campaign against PayPal would be made by me.
I was (and perhaps still am) an ardent lover/fan of the PayPal money system and keep wondering why they continue to shun Pakistan, but when they stoop down to dirty legal arm-twisting like this – rest assured, I too shall twist their arm in return.