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Internet Trademark Case Summaries

Hewlett-Packard Dev. Co. v. Midwest Information Technology Group, Inc.

2006 WL 1554175 (C.D. Ill. June 2, 2006)

Plaintiff sold computers under the marks HEWLETT-PACKARD, HP, and COMPAQ. Defendant operated websites and a telephone call center for plaintiff that accepted orders for plaintiff’s products. During this business relationship, defendant registered several domain names using variations of plaintiff’s marks. After plaintiff terminated its agreement with defendant, plaintiff asked defendant to stop using the domain names and transfer them to plaintiff, but defendant refused. Plaintiff sued for trademark infringement and unfair competition. Plaintiff also filed a UDRP complaint, but the Panel denied the complaint because plaintiff failed to prove that defendant registered the domain names in bad faith. Defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that the UDRP decision precluded plaintiff from proceeding with this action under both res judicata and collateral estoppel. The court denied defendant’s motion because the UDRP decision was neither a final judgment nor binding on the parties. The UDRP policy specifically provided that either party could take the dispute “to a court of competent jurisdiction for independent resolution.” Finally, even if the UDRP deicision was a final judgment, the UDRP policy provided only for the remedies of transfer or cancellation of the domain name and thus did not preclude a separate action to resolve other claims.