A provider of search ads to registrants of parked domain names alleged to infringe trademarks may be liable under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act as an "authorized licensee" of the registrants, a district court ruled. The court looked to the language of an exemplar of the agreement proffered by the plaintiff, under which the registrants granted the provider the "right and license to use" the domain names in order to provide the ads. The court concluded that, depending upon the terms of the actual agreements shown to have been in force with the registrants of the parked domain names, the ad provider could be liable under 15 U.S.C. §1125(d) for using the infringing domain names as the domain name registrants' "authorized licensee." The court similarly concluded that the ad provider could be liable for "trafficking" in the domain names because the statutory definition of trafficking includes, but is not limited to, sales, purchases, loans, pledges, licenses and other transfers.
Vulcan Golf, LLC v. Google Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56786 (N.D. Ill. June 6, 2010) Download PDF