Goldman Sachs & Co. has acquired the premium generic domain name Marcus.com for a new brand of consumer lending. The domain has been registered since 1992.
Goldman Sachs shows up in whois records on July 16, 2016 coming from a law firm likely used by the company to help acquire it. Prior to that, the domain name was under privacy protection for a couple years after showing Ari Marcus & Company as the past owners.
Potential naming issue? Marcus Theaters (part of publicly traded Marcus Corporation) has long been around for me and simply known as “Marcus”. It was founded in 1935… They also have some hotels & resorts, holding “Marcus” trademarks for both services.
If anything, this just further shows how important it is to acquire domains to protect your brand. IMO, if Marcus Corporation owned Marcus.com it wouldn’t have to worry about another large corporation branding after the founders surname, because they very likely wouldn’t do it without owning the .com domain. Yet now, the given name of Marcus (Goldman) may haunt them, at least some.
Marcus Theaters / Marcus Corporation / Marcus Resorts & Hotels will take a hit to its brand due to the branding power of Goldman Sachs with its new online brand, Marcus and at a minimum cause some further competition in search engines and likely some lost traffic to the one word .com domain that some may assume Marcus Corporation would own, but does not.
Marcus.com would have been a wise domain for Marcus Corporation to own, which uses MarcusCorp.com, MarcusTheaters.com and MarcusHotels.com and a few more.
How important are domain names? VERY and they often are a main starting point for a brand being born. I can not express enough, this branding very likely would have never happened if Marcus Corporation owned Marcus.com because they would not have sold it to Goldman Sachs simply to protect its brand. Not owning the domain left the door open.
Will Marcus Corporation put up a legal fight? They might, but again, this likely could have been prevented if they owned Marcus.com!