Great, I'm glad to hear you are trademarking your name! That's a smart move. Your next step should be for you to actually understand what a trademark is and what rights it gives you, and what it doesn't. Then investigate CIRA's CDRP, especially the part about domain names that pre-date your trademark. Then read about how if you knowingly file a frivolous dispute simply to harass me, that you'll likely be charged with Reverse Domain Hijacking and ordered to pay my legal costs. And I have a great domain name lawyer, he's not cheap, but he's VERY successful. Then ask yourself, is it smart for me to waste the next 2+ years of time (while you wait for your trademark application to be approved) and all of the associated legal expenses, only to still NOT have the domain name at the end of it all? Not only would you be wasting your money, more importantly, you'll be wasting your valuable time starting your business and not having the best possible brand/domain name. Or would you like to simply buy this domain, right now, no hassles involved? You could be using this domain in a few days. Your move. Choose wisely.
I think you should consider responding with what [notify]rlm[/notify] said and also jack the price like [notify]MapleDots[/notify] said, just to make them sweat a little at least...
I wouldn't want you to ruin a nice sale but they deserve to sweat a little after making a threat like that (especially when you're in the right). Give them a taste of their own medicine lol.
Who knows, maybe it isn't even the real TM applicant making the threat. It could be someone who knows of the TM application and pretending to be them to scare you into selling for cheap. I doubt it, but it's possible. People definitely use all kinds of different strategies on GD...
Well - as much as we'd like to say all that, its probably a bit too early to get that defensive. In the end, you want a sale. People are stubborn and if they feel to pissed off enough about something they'll refuse to buy it on what they say is "principle" - despite it being to their own detriment.
I would simply stand firm on the price and ignore their comments. Or if you're really pissed, you could even respond with a "your response sounds like a thinly veiled (and ill-advised) threat, which I will not respond to" and simply close the negotiation. They'll eventually realized they screwed up because seriously, your price isn't unreasonable at all.
It just sucks that you can't have much of a real conversation due to the platform limitations.
But remember, you control the domain and you can control the content on it. Use the domain landing page to encourage any interested parties to contact you directly. They'll eventually see it and contact you if they were serious at all. You can even use the landing page to show comparable sales or domain valuations backing up your price, maybe educating them a little about domain values. That might soften them up as they understand more. Even though you know you're putting up that content specifically for that buyer, it can just be good general information too.
If they do contact you with a more conciliatory tone, then stick firm to your price (or negotiate if you really want to) and act sympathetic to a start-up not having the funds for a premium domain and then offer them a lease or payment plan.
But if they contact you with even a hint of more bullshit, then give them the full earful like above.
Don't even respond, as obviously the guy is a brainless nitwit who is trying desperately to get a reaction. The only time this bozo talked to a lawyer was when a neighbor filed a restraining order against him.
You respond and he laughs, searches in a couch for a few more nickels, and tells his mom he'll be up from the basement for dinner soon.