Oracle Tips by Burleson
Chapter 6 -
In typical cyber-crook fashion, Purdy draped
himself with the First Amendment and said that the right to free
speech allowed him to copy the Washington Post’s website and
appropriate the Coca Cola logo and slogan.
Unfortunately for Purdy, the district court
found that Purdy’s logos were both distinctive and famous and that
the domain names Purdy had registered and used were identical or
confusingly similar to those the legitimate trademarks.
The court also found that Purdy had “bad faith
intent” and desired to use the Coke logo to promote his personal
a strong likelihood that plaintiffs would prove
that Purdy and others acting in concert with him had registered the
domain names with a bad faith intent to profit by tarnishing and
diluting plaintiffs' trademarks and by relying on their good names
and goodwill to achieve the personal gain of promoting their
messages, generating publicity, and raising money for supported
In summary, the courts are very clear that the
First Amendment not protect the use of another's trademark in a
domain name to attract an unwitting and unwilling audience to the
message of the domain name holder.
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