Print PDF

Internet Trademark Case Summaries

Clue Computing v. Network Solutions, Inc.

Civil Case No. 96 CV 694, Div. 5, filed June 13, 1996 (Dist. Ct., Boulder County, Colo.)

Clue Computing (“Clue”), registrant of the domain name “clue.com,” operated an Internet site to promote its computer consulting services.  Hasbro, Inc., registrant and prior user of the trademark CLUE for board games, filed a protest with NSI against Clue’s domain name.  Faced with having its domain name placed on hold by NSI, Clue sued NSI in state court and obtained a preliminary injunction enjoining NSI from interfering with Clue’s use and registration of the “clue.com” domain name.  After Clue filed suit in state court, NSI filed a statutory interpleader action in federal court, Network Solutions v. Clue Computing, requesting that the court determine ownership of the “clue.com” domain name.   The court dismissed the action for lack of jurisdiction because NSI failed to meet the procedural requirements of a Section 1335 interpleader claim, which requires that the plaintiff deposit the disputed property with the court. 946 F. Supp. 858 (D. Colo. 1996).   The preliminary injunction issued by the Colorado state court prevented NSI from meeting this requirement.  The federal court further noted that even if NSI were able to meet the procedural requirements, it still would have dismissed the interpleader action because the dispute over the registration of the domain name “clue.com” implicated breach-of-contract issues being adjudicated in the state-court action.  Hasbro subsequently filed a trademark infringement and dilution suit against Clue.  See Hasbro, Inc. v. Clue Computing, Inc. 66 F. Supp. 2d 117 (D. Mass. 1999), aff'd, 232 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2000) (discussed in Domain Name Trademark Infringement section above.)