CHICAGO, October 14, 2009 -- In a landmark legal case, Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh has won custody of nearly 800 domain names wrongfully appropriated from professional athletes and celebrities. Through his social media firm, Max Deal, Bosh is offering to return the domain names for free to their rightful owners. The offer was announced by Bosh's agent, Henry Thomas, Co-President of Max Deal, Hadi Teherany, and Bosh's law firm, Winston & Strawn LLP, which secured the victory.
The award of the domain names to Bosh issued on September 24, 2009 by Judge Florence-Marie Cooper and carried out yesterday, follows an award of $120,000 in April, 2009 for the violation of Bosh's rights under the Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act in federal court for the Central District of California against Luis Zavala and his company Hoopology.com, who had registered the domain "chrisbosh.com." The infringing website originally displayed ads using Bosh's name to generate revenue for Zavala and Hoopology.com, but had no actual association to Bosh. Zavala also owned and used nearly 800 other domains which incorporated the names of various professional athletes, college and high school athletes as well as well-known entertainers, product names and other entertainment properties, for the same purposes.
Bosh's law firm, Winston & Strawn, convinced the court to award Bosh each of the nearly 800 domains owned by Zavala and Hoopology.com. The list contains the names of famous athletes and entertainers, including Olympic gold medalists, the NBA's Deron Williams and Tayshaun Prince, NBA All-Stars Rashard Lewis, Danny Granger and Maurice Williams, the NBA's Charlie Villanueva, Hedo Turkoglu, Andre Iguodala and Andrea Bargnani, as well as the president and general manager and 11 current and former players for Bosh's own team.
"I am thrilled that I am able to offer the return of these domain names to a host of other athletes and celebrities whose names were cybersquatted," said Chris Bosh, a four-time NBA All-Star, and Olympic gold medalist. "I will offer the return of the domain names free of charge, but I'd also love the opportunity to show their owners how Max Deal can help."