Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Quokka Sports Inc. v. Cup Int'l Ltd.
99 F. Supp. 2d 1105 (N.D. Cal. 1999)
Plaintiff, a California-based company and licensee of the AMERICA’S CUP trademark, handled the “americascup.org” website for the New Zealand America’s Cup yachting team. The New Zealand-based defendants registered the domain name “americascup.com” and also set up a similar website dealing with the upcoming America’s Cup, but their site also included gambling services. In anticipation of the expected large amount of traffic, defendants contacted plaintiff and offered to sell the “americascup.com” domain name. Refusing to purchase the domain name, plaintiff argued that defendants infringed plaintiff’s AMERICA’S CUP mark. After numerous failed attempts to settle the matter, plaintiff brought suit alleging trademark infringement, dilution, and other claims. Plaintiff subsequently amended their complaint to add a claim under the newly enacted ACPA. Finding that defendants’ operation of their website at “www.americascup.com” was likely to cause confusion and thus constituted trademark infringement, the court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining defendants from operating any website at “www.americascup.com”; transferring or licensing the domain name; or using AMERICA’S CUP or a similar term as a trademark or domain name. The court’s decision did not address plaintiff’s ACPA claim.