Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Biocryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Namecheap.com
No. CV 05-7615 JFW (C.D. Cal. Nov. 21, 2006)
Plaintiff pharmaceutical company owned the federally registered trademark BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS, INC. Defendant Patel was a known cybersquatter residing in the United Kingdom who registered the domain names “biobrystpharmaceuticals.com,” “biocrystpharmaceutical.com,” biocrist.com.” After plaintiff lost a UDRP complaint against the name “biocristpharmaceuticals.com,” plaintiff filed this suit for cybersquatting, false designation of origin, trademark infringement, dilution, and other claims. Patel registered the other two domain names after plaintiff filed this suit. Because defendant contracted with a California domain name reseller, defendant NameCheap, the court exercised in personam jurisdiction against both of them, allowing service of Patel by email and international mail. When Patel failed to respond, plaintiff moved for default judgment and a permanent injunction, both of which the court granted. Without discussing the evidence in detail, the court found that Patel knowingly and willingly appropriated plaintiff’s trademark in the disputed domain names and that his conduct was unreasonable and egregious, finding for plaintiff on all of its claims. The court also ordered Patel to transfer the domain names to plaintiff and enjoined him from “registering, using, owning, selling or offering to sell any internet domain names using or containing the word mark BIOCRYST PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., the word BIOCRYST or any words confusingly similar thereto, including misspellings, such as BIOCRIST.” The court also awarded statutory damages of $300,000 under the ACPA for the three domain names based on Patel’s knowing and willful use of domain names that infringed plaintiff’s trademark, and providing false contact information concerning his registration and use of the domain names. The court also awarded attorney’s fees of $71,373.58 plus costs based on Patel’s malicious, fraudulent, and deliberate actions in registering and using the domain names to divert Internet users looking for plaintiff.