So many conflicting answers guys...Is there a consensus on this?
Well, yes. I didn`t see any conflicts in the responses. HardKnocks has it best summarized. Whomever used the trademark in commerce first is the presumptive owner. Just registering the domain name is not using the name in commerce. Putting up a web site teasing visitors about the type of site coming soon may be.
Fry`s Electronics is a very good study case for an example of how this happens in a real David v Goliath case. Fry`s started out as a grocery chain in San Jose, CA. No domain name. They gradually added homebuilder components to an aisle in the store, and that multiplied into the Fry`s Electronics empire. (There`s still a couple of Fry`s grocery stores somewhere).
In the same time frame, a small french-fry vendor registered the name "Frys.com", and he used the domain to advertise his business. Fry`s was the trademark of Fry`s Electronics. The empire demanded that the Fry vendor turn over the domain name as a trademark issue. The small fry (hi) said "no" and Fry`s sued. And lost. And appealed. And lost again.
In the end, Fry`s Electronics did what they should have done in the first place. Specifically, they made a cash offer for the domain name that the small vendor couldn`t pass up.
So in your case, it`s all in the timing. If the name is not trademarked, then why don`t you just do it yourself?
MannMade Digital Video