Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Ballistic Prods., Inc. v. Precision Reloading, Inc.
2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13148 (D. Minn. July 29, 2003)
Plaintiff sold firearms-related supplies through mail-order catalogues and its website “ballisticproducts.com.” Defendant sold similar products through the mail and its website “precisionreloading.com.” In December 2002, defendant, despite knowing that plaintiff had been using the mark BALLISTIC PRODUCTS, INC. since the 1970s, registered the domain names “ballisticproduct.com” and “balisticproducts.com” and redirected them to the “precisionreloading.com” website. In April 2003, defendant directed the domain names to “buydomains.com” where they were listed as reserved. The court granted plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction on its ACPA claim. Regarding likelihood of success on the merits, the court held that the BALLISTIC PRODUCTS mark was distinctive because of widespread use in advertising and catalogues over a long period of time and because secondary meaning could be inferred from defendant’s deliberate copying of plaintiff’s mark; defendant’s domain names were confusingly similar to plaintiff’s mark and domain name because each one differed by only one letter from plaintiff’s domain name, and defendant admitted that the names were chosen because Internet users were likely to misspell words when searching for plaintiff’s website. Further, defendant registered its domain names with a bad-faith intent to profit because defendant knew of plaintiff’s mark and chose names that would divert Internet users from plaintiff’s website to defendant’s site. The court thus preliminarily enjoined defendant from using the disputed domain names and any other domain name identical or confusingly similar to plaintiff’s mark. The court also ordered defendant to transfer the domain names to plaintiff.