Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Diller v. Steurken
712 N.Y.S.2d 311 (N.Y. County S. Ct. 2000)
Defendant registered domain names containing celebrity names, including "barrydiller.com" in January 1999, for purposes of selling them. Defendant’s website contained numerous uses of Mr. Diller’s name, one use of his picture, and one use of his company’s name. In response to plaintiffs’ cease-and-desist letter, defendant removed all of the offending uses from his site but continued to offer the sale of the domain name “barrydiller.com” for $100,000. Plaintiffs sued defendant and eventually obtained a default judgment. In this decision, the court granted plaintiffs' request for a permanent injunction and transfer of the domain name, but denied their request for attorney's fees. Although defendant registered the domain name before ACPA became effective, the court followed the Second Circuit's decision in Sporty's Farm holding that ACPA "applies retroactively where prospective or injunctive relief is at issue." On the issue of attorney's fees, however, the court held that ACPA did not permit retroactive awards of attorney's fees for domain names registered before enactment of ACPA on November 29, 1999.