Thursday, July 07, 2011

3rd Level Domain Names Not Protected by ACPA. GOFORIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC v. DigiMedia. com LP

GOFORIT ENTERTAINMENT, LLC v. DigiMedia. com LP, 750 F. Supp. 2d 712 - Dist. Court, ND Texas 2010:
The court holds that defendants are entitled to summary judgment dismissing GEL's cyberpiracy claim under § 43(d) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), because, as a matter of law, third level domain names are not covered by the ACPA. Under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)(A),[7] a party can be held liable if it registers, traffics in, or uses a "domain name" that is "identical or confusingly similar" to a distinctive mark, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)(A)(ii)(I), with bad faith intent to profit from the mark, id. § 1125(d)(1)(A)(i).[8] Under the statute, "[t]he term `domain name' means any alphanumeric designation which is registered with or assigned by any domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority as part of an electronic address on the Internet." 15 U.S.C. § 1127. Defendants maintain that a third level domain—the level in question in this case—is outside the scope of the statute, because it is not "registered with or assigned by" a domain name registrar. The court agrees. The only part of a web address that must be registered is the second level domain. Establishing a third level domain does not require registration with or assignment by a domain name registration authority.
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