Overstock.com Inc. offers retail store services online, primarily specializing in selling furniture and home furnishings, explicitly offering brand names at discount prices. Overstock began as a closeout retailer selling exclusively surplus stock and still has a clearance liquidators closeout range today.
The company’s headquarters are located in Utah near Salt Lake City. Overstock had consistently evolved and is now virtually unrecognizable from its humble beginnings, boasting over 700 stores and a position in the top 5 homeware retailers in the states, which is a far cry from the fledgling start-up that it was when it began in 1999.
The overstock domain was first registered in February 1999 by MarkMonitor on behalf of Patrick Byrne and will expire in February of 2023 unless it is renewed.
The History of Overstock.com
Patrick Byrne founded Overstock in Utah in 1999 after acquiring a business called Discounts Direct and rebranding it; the company was one of the first of its type and began by exclusively selling liquidated and returned merchandise on an e-commerce marketplace. Overstock grew with impressive speed and, in its first year, even earned a feature in the New York Times for being the website ”with the highest gain in average daily visitors”.
This unprecedented growth is perhaps what allowed Overstock to survive some pretty tough economic conditions. In fact, during the dot-com crash, Overstock survived by liquidating the inventories of around 18 collapsed companies at less-than wholesale prices.
In May 2002, Overstock made their initial public offering, supported by W.R. Hambrecht, at a per-share price of $13. At the time, Overstock was much smaller than it is now; however, the company grew steadily, and by 2009 Overstock was a dominant player in the e-commerce and department store sectors with recorded profits of 7.7 million and significant achievements, including a billion-dollar year in 2010.
In 2003 Byrne donated $50,000 to troops in Afghanistan, the same year that Overstock was recognized as Utah’s fastest-growing company.
In 2004 Overstock began offering online auctions through a service known as Overstock marketplace and later O.co marketplace, though this service was suspended indefinitely in 2011.
Overstock briefly experimented with changing their name to O.co in 2011, hoping to simplify their brand image but reversed this decision in the same year, citing confusion for existing customers.
Overstock has grown dramatically since its beginnings in 1999, with stock shares currently valued at $106 today, compared to $13 per share in 2002.
In January 2014, Overstock.com became one of the first commercial retailers to accept bitcoin as a payment option. In the first 24 hours, they received some $126,000 in orders representing a 4% increase in sales from their usual sales amount.
While founder and CEO Patrick Byrne admitted that overall revenue from sales paid for with Bitcoin was ”Tiny. <.1%.” Overstock still remains one of the only major retailers that will allow customers to pay in any cryptocurrency, and Byrne is known as a vocal supporter, having openly stated in an interview that ”Bitcoin is here to stay”.
Overstock.com, Inc. has attempted expansion into different sectors with announcements made in 2012 that they were launching O.co travel in partnership with travel giant Priceline.
Overstocks president Jonathan Johnson spoke highly of the deal stating that “Our partnership with priceline.com allows us to offer customers an in-depth travel site”. While Overstock’s central operation as an online retailer continues to grow and dominate, this is clearly a versatile corporation that is seeking to diversify and evolve as time goes on.
Overstock has somewhat expanded on its initial reputation as a liquidator-only store, continuing to sell home decor, bedding, small appliances, lighting, furniture, and many other closeout merchandise products; however, brand new merchandise from the standard supply chain is also offered. Overall around 94% of Overstock.com’s revenue as an online retailer comes from homeware and furniture.
Overstock has grown to become a corporate giant that has multiple brands and trademarks, with consistent innovation, ideas, and possible sidelines. Overstock is also known for its commitment to supporting several good causes, so with this array of goods and services in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that there are multiple Overstock.com trademarks registered with the USPTO at this time.
In May 2003, a U.S. federal trademark registration was filed for the big O overstock.com though several hundred have been filed by Overstock.com Inc. since.
Overstock.com, Worldstock, and Worldstock fairtrade are all registered trademarks of Overstock.com Inc. Though Overstock.com was used from 1999 as a domain, an associated trademark application wasn’t filed to protect it until September of 2003.
One of the best-known Overstock.com Inc. trademarks is Worldstock Fairtrade which was founded in 2001. Worldstock represents the socially responsible and humanitarian ”arm” of Overstock’s operations.
By offering up to 70% of each product’s purchase price to Artisans, Worldstock stands apart from its competitors. Overstock.com Inc. supports the livelihoods of over 10,000 Artisans in the USA and abroad via its Worldstock arm.
“Worldstock’s mission is to create sustainable livelihoods for artisans around the world by leveraging the internet to introduce their goods to the U.S. market. We’re privileged to be able to further support international humanitarian efforts around the world by bringing schools, clinics, drinking water, and sustainable cottage industries to artisan communities globally,” Patrick Byrne on Worldstock’s charitable aims.
Worldstock doesn’t have its own domain name and is instead sold at overstock.com under the ”world stock handmade range,” but the U.S. trademark for Worldstock fairtrade was registered with the trademark office In April of 2009.
Overstock.com Inc. also trademarked the slogan ”It’s all about the O” and it has since been used in several advertising campaigns since its first use anywhere – July 2014.
That’s not the only slogan that became a registered trademark, though. ”Overstocktober” is a month-long sales event that was the foundation of a successful ad campaign… and it’s a registered trademark, too. The trademark application was submitted in March 2010, and the service mark has been in use since October of the same year.
In addition to the above active service marks, Overstock.com Inc. owned several trademarks that are now considered abandoned/inactive under trademark law, such as Overstock T.V. and Overstock Coliseum, which were filed for in February 2004 and April 2011, respectively but weren’t even officially launched.
When Overstock.com experimented with its brand image by changing the company name to O.co in 2011, the domain was changed to reflect this.
Although the brand name O.co is no longer in official use, the domain remains and will still navigate to the overstock website.
The O.co domain was registered in April 2010 and will expire in April of 2022 unless it is renewed.
Read more on Trademarks and Domain Names
In order to protect your brand’s intellectual property, it is wise to make use of the protections guaranteed by copyright law which allows a trademark owner to sue in cases of trademark infringement. Without this recourse, your business’s development and financial health are at risk. A service mark is a straightforward way to gain significant legal protection.
Clearly, Overstock.com Inc. sees the value in these safeguards and has protected itself and all associated intellectual property to the fullest extent by registering at least 300 service marks with the USPTO since its inception in 1999.