Internet Trademark Case Summaries
PaineWebber Inc. v. www.painewebber.com
1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6552 (E.D. Va. Apr. 9, 1999)
Defendant registered the domain name “wwwpainewebber.com,” a misspelling of plaintiff’s domain name in that it omitted a period after “www.” The site linked visitors to pornographic websites. Plaintiff sought preliminary relief, arguing that defendant’s registration and use of the domain name constituted trademark dilution. The court found that plaintiff’s mark was famous and would be diluted by being linked with pornography, and thus granted a temporary restraining order on April 2 and a preliminary injunction on April 9, 1999. The court preliminarily enjoined defendant from operating, maintaining, or sponsoring any website identified with the domain name, and from selling, disposing, or otherwise terminating his rights to the domain name. The court also ordered Network Solutions Inc. (“NSI”) to put the domain name on hold until the parties’ rights to it were determined by the court.