Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Use of Trademark in a Domain Name

According to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the use of a trademark in a domain name does not necessarily amount to trademark infringement. In a decision issued in July 2010, the court highlighted that the critical factor to establish trademark infringement in a domain name is that the use of the mark generates a “strong likelihood of confusion for consumers.”

In the case of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc v. Tabari, the domains “buy-a-lexus.com” and “buyorleaselexus.com” were used as websites for brokers of Lexus automobiles. Toyota challenged the use of the Lexus name, arguing that it was likely confusing for consumers who would think Toyota sponsored those organizations. In its opinion, the court stated that a trademark owner must establish three things to show that the use of a trademark amounts to infringement and not fair use:

(More........Use of Trademark in a Domain Name Does Not Alone Establish Trademark Infringement)
Good to know.... though i wish their response gave a clearer understanding of when it DOES constitute trademark infringement, would save some people a lot of legal bills in the future.

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