Home > News > Court OKs Gripe Site With Similar Domain Name • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Court OKs Gripe Site With Similar Domain Name

Court OKs Gripe Site With Similar Domain Name
Get XBIZ News
Apr 29, 2004 8:19 AM PDT    Text size: 
NEW ORLEANS – A federal appeals court has reversed a lower court decision finding a website operator liable for trademark infringement when he posted a gripe site against a business.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that the owner of a domain name resembling another was not liable under federal anti-cybersquatting laws because it did not make commercial use of the trademark.

The case is of particular interest to individuals who have a beef with companies and want to create their own websites with similar names.

Joseph Maxwell, unhappy over a salesperson’s misrepresentations about the availability of a certain model home, decided to create a website to tell the story of his dispute with TMI, a Houston-based maker of homes, also known as Trendmaker Homes, owned by the giant Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company.

Maxwell registered a domain name – www.trendmakerhome.com – that resembled TMI’s, which had already been using the domain name www.trendmakerhomes.com. The site, which omitted a single “s,” included a disclaimer at the top of the home page indicating that it was not TMI’s site.

Once the domain name expired, TMI scooped up the registration and demanded that Maxwell take down the 1-year-old website.

But Maxwell apparently felt he had some unfinished business with the home builder and registered the name www.trendmakerhome.info.

TMI filed suit, and Maxwell faced a judgment against him of $80,000 after he lost his case in U.S. District Court, which ruled he violated the federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, as well as U.S. and Texas trademark laws.

Last week, the 5th Circuit reversed the decision in favor of Maxwell because he did not intend to make money off of the venture.

“[A]fter analyzing the [state and federal laws], we are convinced that TMI failed to establish that Maxwell had a bad faith intent to profit from TMI’s mark and that the district court’s conclusion to the contrary was clearly erroneous,” the court said in its opinion.

The case is TMI Inc. vs. Joseph Maxwell, Nos. 03-20243, 03-20291.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Artificial Intelligence Treats Risk Like Cancer

An embarrassing thing happened to me in Amsterdam. I’d just finished dinner with a new partner at a nice restaurant. OK … more expensive than nice, but you know what I mean. I grade food in... More »

8 Tips for Scaling Up Your Ad Campaign

As an advertiser it can take some time for you to get a successful campaign going because many ideas don't always work out. Once you have a great converting campaign it can also quickly die out, so that's... More »

Is the Free Porn Era Starting to Fade Away?

Onlookers might believe that adult entertainment was only a big business prior to free tube sites, or that tube sites started the free porn era online. It’s true that free porn is much more pervasive... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.



Nov 04 - Nov 06
Edison, New Jersey

2016 Inked Awards

Nov 05 - Nov 05
Edison, New Jersey

XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA

XBIZ Awards 2017

Jan 12 - Jan 12
Los Angeles, CA
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!