Wednesday, September 08, 2010

In copyright or libel litigation, plaintiffs could seize a domain name or brand identity on a court order

Today, in discussing a new “spamigation” or “mass litigation” threat against news aggregation websites and blogs for alleged copyright infringement, I noted that a particular plaintiff was also demanding that the domain name and apparently future content of the site be turned over to the plaintiff by the court.

In the past, this has happened with libel cases, where an organization has been put out of business in a libel case, and the plaintiff took ownership of the organization’s assets.

This does mean that, in a legal sense, a plaintiff is making a claim on the defendant’s “brand” in some cases, that is, the right to do any business under that or similar brand in the future. And that’s a scary thought.

The main story was posted on the “BillBoushka” blog today.