Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Court Grants Preliminary Injunction in Cybersquatting Case

In Larson v. Galliher, a federal district court has granted a plaintiff newspaper publisher a preliminary injunction in a case alleging cybersquatting, trademark infringement, and slander. The defendant alleged that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because both parties reside and do business in California, the events giving rise to these claims occurred in California, and this court sits in Nevada. The court held that jurisdiction and venue is proper because the defendant brought a defamation suit against the plaintiff in Nevada state court, thus voluntarily waiving his defenses. The two actions (defamation and cybersquatting) involve the same set of facts. The domain names at issue are exactly those of the plaintiff's newspapers, with "www" and "com" on either end. "Plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury if the Court does not require Wild West Domains, Inc., the domain register, to place the infringing <holtvilletribune.com>, <imperialvalleyweekly.com> and <calexicochronicle.com> domain names on hold, and lock, change or disable the domain name server information, and deposit them with the Court, pending litigation of this matter...Plaintiff is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims for cybersquatting under 15 U.S.C. ยง 1114;...The balance of hardships tips in favor of Plaintiff because the preliminary injunction will merely place the infringing domain names on hold and lock pending trial, and failure to issue the injunction would potentially cause Plaintiff to suffer and incur additional expense in having to file additional lawsuits if the domain names were to be transferred to other registrants during the pendency of this action."

The case is Larson v. Galliher, 2:06-CV-1471-RCJ-GWF (U.S.D.C. Nev.), decided Jan. 5, 1007. Read the entire ruling here.

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