Steve Levy ⬥ 23 December
Since our report a week ago on the hostess.com decision, a claim under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) has been filed in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia by Goodwill Industries International, Inc. against Cyber2Media, Inc., the owner of the domain goodwill.com.
As with the word “hostess,” the word “goodwill” is arguably a descriptive term. However, this case is very different from the hostess.com example because the defendant uses goodwill.com to forward visitors to a pay-per-click Web site featuring links to the plaintiff’s site and to other charitable organizations. By using the domain name this way, the defendant appears to be attempting to profit of off Goodwill’s fame as a charitable organization. By registering goodwill.com and hosting links to charitable organizations, the defendant is likely hoping to take advantage of confused visitors to the site who will assume that the links are approved by Goodwill Industries International. This sort of proof of intent was the missing element in the hostess.com case and seems here to be strong evidence of lack of legitimate use of the domain and the defendant’s registration of the domain in bad faith.
In an interesting side note, the domain savechildren.com was recently ordered to be transferred to the owner of the well-known Save The Children trademark in a UDRP decision which did not make any mention of the potentially descriptive nature of the phrase “save children.” In that case, however, the respondent did not file a response and the domain resolved to a pay-per-click Web site featuring links to complainant’s competitors and other unrelated products and services.
Tags: ACPA, Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, Charitable Organizations, Cyber2Media Inc., domain names, enforcement, Federal District Court, Goodwill Industries International Inc., pay-per-click Web site, Save the Children, trademark, UDRP, Virginia