Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Graduate Mgmt. Admission Council v. Raju
267 F. Supp. 2d 505 (E.D. Va. 2003) (adopting Magistrate Judge’s recommendations)
Plaintiff, a supporting organization for university business schools, owns all rights to the copyrighted Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the federally registered GMAT trademark. Defendant registered the domain names “GMATPLUS.com” and “GMATPLUS.net.” Defendant used these websites, which prominently displayed the term “GMATPLUS,” to advertise and sell actual GMAT questions. Plaintiff never authorized defendant to sell these materials and sued defendant for trademark infringement, dilution, cybersquatting, and various copyright claims. Defendant failed to answer the complaint, and the court entered default judgment in plaintiff’s favor. The case was then referred to a magistrate judge for a hearing on ex parte proof of damages. The magistrate judge first found that plaintiff proved that defendant infringed and diluted plaintiff’s trademark, and violated the ACPA by attempting to divert customers from plaintiff’s legitimate websites. Regarding relief, the magistrate judge recommended that defendant be enjoined from using GMAT, any GMAT-formative mark or domain name, or any confusingly similar marks and from diluting the distinctiveness of plaintiff’s marks, and that defendant be required to deliver up and destroy all infringing materials. In addition, the magistrate judge recommended that plaintiff be awarded the maximum $200,000 in statutory damages for cybersquatting ($100,000 per name) because of defendant’s “blatant use of [plaintiff’s] mark in his domain names and his use of the site to market and sell copyrighted GMAC materials . . . .” The magistrate judge also recommended that defendant transfer the domain names “GMATPLUS.com” and “GMATPLUS.net” to plaintiff and that plaintiff be awarded its attorney’s fees and costs. Finally, the magistrate judge recommended an award of $3,300,000 in statutory damages for copyright infringement (the maximum $150,000 award for 22 separate test forms). The court later adopted and affirmed all of the magistrate judge’s recommendations.