Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Referee Enters., Inc. v. Planet Ref, Inc.
2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9303 (E.D. Wis. Jan. 24, 2001)
Plaintiff, owner of the federally registered mark REFEREE for a magazine about sports officiating, filed a UDRP complaint against the owner of the domain names “ereferee.com,” “ereferee.net,” and “ereferee.org,” which connected to a website providing news, advice, and information about referees. Following a UDRP decision in favor of the domain-name owner on the grounds that the owner had a legitimate interest in the names and did not register or use the names in bad faith, plaintiff filed this civil action and obtained a preliminary injunction against the domain-name owner. The court found, with little analysis, that plaintiff was likely to establish that it was “threatened with dilution, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false designation of origin . . . ,” and entered an extremely broad injunction. Specifically, the court enjoined defendant from using: (1) the mark REFEREE or any confusingly mark, either alone or in combination with other words, “as a mark, domain name or highlighted term or in any other way other than in common textual reference,” and (2) the word REFEREE or any confusingly similar term “as any of defendants’ domain names, directory names, or other such computer addresses, or otherwise in connection with the retrieval of data or information.”