When companies and individuals take the time and money to register and develop a domain name or trademark, they want to make sure that their intellectual property is being used only by them. However, there are several other individuals and companies that will try to benefit from the hard work of others by intentionally, and sometimes unknowingly, use the same or similar domain names or trademarks for their own personal and financial gain. ‘Bad Faith’ is defined by Wikipedia as ‘double mindedness or double heartedness in duplicity, fraud, or deception. It may involve intentional deceit of others, or self-deception.’
The summary of cases below briefly outline how the Courts were able to find that the bad faith requirement had been met under the ACPA when individuals and companies did intend to profit from other’s domain names and trademarks in registration and/or use. Some of these bad faith intentions used by the infringers included: the use of the domain name in conjunction of a “phishing’ scam; no other reason for use of the words or makes other than a desire to capitalize on a strong trademark; intent to profit from poor typing abilities of consumers trying to reach owner’s websites; and a competitor registering the domain name for the express purpose of keeping another corporation from using it, just to name a few.
What is “bad Faith” intent to profit under the Anticybersquatting Consumers Protection Act?
Below are synopses of many Bad Faith Cybersquatting cases that cut in favor of the plaintiff.
Although the plaintiffs in Pennsylvania Business Bank v. Biz Bank Corp., failed in their assertion that defendant’s had an affirmative duty to at least investigate third party trademarks before registering the domain, the requisite bad faith element was still met and found in favor of the plaintiffs: “plaintiff has proven . . . that BIZBANK is a distinctive or famous mark so that it is entitled to protection; that defendants’ domain name <http://www.bizbank.com> is identical or confusingly similar to plaintiff’s mark; and that defendants registered the domain name with the bad faith intent to profit from it.” 330 F. Supp. 2d at 526.
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