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Liability for “Confusingly Similar Domain

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Liability for “Confusingly Similar Domain

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Ossian Law P.C.
IT Law Alert January 21, 2015

Liability for “Confusingly Similar Domain”: A domain name that is “confusingly similar” to another’s registered trademark can be problematic both for the registrant and the owner of the mark. A recent example occurred with the registration of the url <NEWYORKPOSTPUBLISHINGINC> by Stephen Jude Hoffenberg, a former publisher of the daily newspaper, the New York Post.

NYP Holdings, the current publisher of the New York Post, owns several federally registered trademarks including “NEW YORK POST” specifically for daily newspapers, online newspapers and news delivered to mobile devices. NYP Holdings filed a lawsuit against Hoffenberg and a company under his control alleging trademark infringement and violation of the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”).

NYP Holdings alleged that defendants intentionally tried to confuse consumers as that the site associated with the domain prominently displayed the words “NEW YORK POST” in large font on the home page while the words “Publishing Inc.” were not prominent and in a much smaller font. A New York federal court held that defendants’ registration and use of <NEWYORKPOSTPUBLISHINGINC> infringed NYP Holdings’ trademarks and constituted bad faith under the ACPA.

Review the court decision here.

Contact us at Ossian Law  regarding domain name management or any other information technology law question.

© 2015 Ossian Law P.C.

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