AMPAS Scores Boost In Domain Name Case Against GoDaddy

DOMINIC PATTEN
Deadline.com

The cybersquatting case is far from over but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences moved one big step closer to domain domination over GoDaddy last week. Federal judge Audrey Collins ordered on November 4 that 177 domain names submitted by the brand conscious Academy “are confusingly similar as a matter of law” to those trademarked for the Oscars. A trial in the more than 3-year old case is scheduled for next year. While Hollywoodoscar.com and Oscarsonline.net got the judge’s nod, Saysoscar.com and Oscar-Mike.com were among the five domain names that GoDaddy are in the clear on. Still, even with that tiny victory, this ruling leaves the domain register company even more vulnerable to AMPAS claim than it already was – and it was already pretty vulnerable. Earlier this summer the judge decided that GoDaddy deliberately parked domain names for click through ad revenue. That parked pages program took away any safe harbor protection the company claimed it had. AMPAS first sued the company under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act in mid-2010. Both AMPAS and GoDaddy submitted the list that Judge Collins issued her order on last week to the court on August 9 this year. It is likely the last thing that they will do together, barring a settlement, before this case ends.

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