Go Daddy Vs The Oscars
I have been following this case for close to five years, Go Daddy and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have been engaged in a battle for over 5 years on whether or not Go Daddy is at fault for allowing their customers to register domains that infringe on The Oscars brand name. It is interesting to note that Go Daddy claims to have only made $350 from the 293 domains that were parked. They also claim there was no bad faith when it comes to the registrations.
The Hollywood Reporter is out today with the specifics for the court room battle set to take place on August 4, 2015.
Eric Gardner writes, The case has been unusual from the get-go in 2010 from efforts to depose GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons, the defendant’s accusations that AMPAS was gaming the judicial system and disclosures of AMPAS’s various settlement offers including $20 million at the outset and $6 million as recently as 2013. The judge’s verdict will offer the rare opportunity to see whether the defendant should have taken the offer.
The high-stakes trial will be one of the biggest ever on the issue of cybersquatting, and domain registrar giant GoDaddy will be defending a program that allowed customers to buy domains like 2011oscars.com or betacademyawards.com, “park” that page and collect a portion of revenue from GoDaddy’s advertising partners on a pay-per-click basis. On Tuesday, the parties outlined the issues remaining in a five-year-old case and detailed the many witnesses who will be testifying on everything from the history of the Oscars ceremony to the policies of GoDaddy, a $4.5 billion company that went public in April.
AMPAS has already prevailed in court in showing that most of the 293 domains that GoDaddy allowed to be registered are confusingly similar to its own marks like “Oscar” and “Academy Award.” The judge in the case has rejected safe harbor for GoDaddy, which has abandoned all but one of its defenses to the cybersquatting lawsuit.
But the plaintiff still needs to show that 57 of the domains are confusingly similar and rebut GoDaddy’s last remaining defense that there was no bad faith intent to profit from the trademarks. Then, there’s the issue of statutory damages, which will be anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000 for each domain name at issue.
Read the full story on The Hollywood Reporter