Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Ford Motor Co. v. Cross
441 F.Supp.2d 837 (E.D. Mich. 2006)
Defendants sold restoration parts for Ford automobiles using Ford's trademark FoMoCo in the domain name “fomoco.com” and the business name “FoMoCo Obsolete.” Plaintiff sued for cybersquatting, trademark dilution, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and false advertising. Neither defendant made an appearance or answered the complaint. The court adopted the magistrate’s report and recommendation and granted plaintiff’s motion for default judgment on all claims. Regarding cybersquatting, the court held that plaintiff’s factual allegations sufficiently showed that defendant had no legitimate rights in the domain name and that defendant had a bad-faith intent to profit from plaintiff’s mark. The court also held that plaintiff alleged all the requisite factual elements for dilution, infringement, and false designation of origin and false advertising. The court permanently enjoined defendants from, among other things, making unauthorized use of the FORD and FOMOCO marks and any confusingly similar marks or domain names. The court also ordered defendants to transfer the “fomoco.com” name to plaintiff, and to disclose to the court plaintiff all other domain names it owned to permit the court and plaintiff to determine whether any such names should be transferred to plaintiff. The court awarded $100,000 in statutory damages for trademark counterfeiting, even though the court’s opinion did not expressly make any specific finding of counterfeiting. Although plaintiff alleged that defendant’s counterfeiting was willful, it requested only $100,000 (the maximum award for non-willful counterfeiting) instead of $1,000,000 (the maximum award for willful counterfeiting). The court also awarded $10,000 in statutory damages for cybersquatting; plaintiff requested only $10,000 and not the $100,000 maximum despite plaintiff’s claims of willfulness. Finally, the court awarded $28,288.89 in attorney’s fees.