Friday, March 05, 2010

The Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) does have limits: important case in Michigan with a personnel business

In a case in Michigan, a federal court ruled that a defendant could register a domain name(s) with the purpose of criticizing another business, when the original business (the plaintiff) had minimal presence on the web. Doing so did not constitute trademark dilution, even prospectively. The case is “Career Agents Network, Inc.” vs. “,, Lawrence R. White and Aeromedia Marketing”. The order granted a defendant’s motion for a summary judgment and denied the plaintiff’s motion. The papers can be read on the Scribd website here. The opinion was linked on Mixx under trademark law.

Apparently the case involved a “Career Agents Network” and another company in Missouri called “Health Career Agents” which offered franchise opportunity to set up recruiting businesses under these names.

The opinion does discuss the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) (1999). An ACPA lawsuit is more costly that an administrative mediation with ICANN under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Policy (UDRP). The ACPA had been intended to supplement the original Federal Trademark Dilution Act. Wikipedia’s entry with the “nine tests” is here.

Here is an FAQ on the ACPA at Keytlaw (link).

The Cornell University Law School Text for USC 15-1125 is here.

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