Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Calvin Designer Label
985 F. Supp. 1220 (N.D. Cal. 1997)
Plaintiff owned the federally registered trademarks PLAYBOY and PLAYMATE. Defendant used these marks as part of the domain names “playboyxxx.com” and “playmatelive.com,” directly on the pages of their websites, and as hidden key words in the websites’ buried code or metatags that are read by search engines to rank the relevance of a site in response to a query. Plaintiff sued for trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition. The court found plaintiff likely to succeed on the merits of each of these claims and issued a preliminary injunction, ordering defendant to cease all use of plaintiff’s trademarks, including use in metatags on any future website defendant might establish. The court also required defendant to immediately request NSI to cancel the infringing domain names. In the alternative, the court declared the domain names cancelled in the event NSI chose to deposit control over the domain names with the court.