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The case law in the area of cybersquatting is fairly settled.
With only one possible exception, no cybersquatter has won a court case against an intellectual property holder anywhere in the world.
Despite this strong trend against cybersquatters, new instances of cybersquatting continue to arise.
For instance, Intel recently filed suit against the registrant of leads to a pornographic web site. Two recent cases include the litigation (note the absence of the "." between the www and painewebber) and the suit by Microsoft and MSNBC against the registrants of and for infringement.
Even though no web site had been posted, the court held that ICBP intended to use its confusing domain name to lure potential customers to the site once it was created. Thus this case will not raise the issue as to how international courts would deal with registrations of trademarks by international competitors. Non-competing Use - Legitimate Claims The area of legitimate competing claims is the most complex in this field.
While customers might not be confused as to affiliation once they got to the site, they may simply purchase ICBP's products rather than searching for Green Products' real site. Consequently, it remains more unresolved than other domain name disputes.
In order to get at cybersquatters, the Ninth Circuit and subsequent courts have held that while mere registration does not constitute use in commerce, the offer to sell the domain name to the trademark holder is sufficient to meet this requirement.
For instance, the following trademarks have been found famous in cybersquatting cases: In contrast, the trademarks Clue (for the well-known board game) and Avery Dennison have been held not famous by courts where they determined that the registrants were not acting in bad faith. Sumpton, the Ninth Circuit held that to qualify as famous, the mark must be truly prominent and renowned. Competing Use In several cases, competitors have registered their adversary's trademark.In such cases, the trademark holder would have to rely on a dilution claim.Additionally, even where a web site has been posted, it often was not commercial and thus seemingly didn't meet the "use in commerce" requirement for both infringement and dilution. Toeppen set out a broad interpretation of "use in commerce" that has been followed by subsequent courts.As with cybersquatting, the case law in this area is fairly well settled and courts have ruled against such behavior. Independence Corn By-Products Co., (ICBP) both companies were direct competitors in the corncob by-product industry.Here, as with cybersquatting it appears that the courts have stretched existing law where necessary. ICBP registered , but had not yet posted a web site when Green Products sued them.