Wednesday, February 16, 2011

9th Circuit: Links to competing services turn cybersquatting into infringement

The 9th Circuit today ruled that an “Internet entrepreneur” (possibly a euphemism for “cybersquatter”) who ran a website at the address not only was guilty of cybersquatting, but also infringed VeriCheck’s VERICHECK mark. What is interesting about the case is that the infringing website was not for a competing service, but was one of those typical “cybersquatter” sites that simply lists lots of seemingly random links to several third party sites. These listings, however, included links to sites of competitors of VeriCheck. Although the Court did not say who was responsible for the appearance of those links (e.g., the cybersquatter or his ISP), the mere existence of links to competing services turned cybersquatting into cybersquatting + infringement (with a dollop of attorneys’ fees).

The case is Lahoti v. VeriCheck, Inc., No. 10-35388 (9th Cir. Feb. 16, 2011) (previous appeal discussed here).

No comments: