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Facebook Typosquatter Ruling

Facebook Typosquatter Ruling

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Published by TechCrunch
U.S. District Court for Northern California's recommendations for Facebook's recovery of 105 similar domain names, and $2.8m in damages
U.S. District Court for Northern California's recommendations for Facebook's recovery of 105 similar domain names, and $2.8m in damages

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: TechCrunch on May 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/01/2013

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 United States District Court Northern District of CaliforniaFACEBOOK, INC., a Delaware corporation,Plaintiff,v.BANANA ADS LLC, et al.,Defendants.Case No.: CV 11-03619-YGR (KAW)REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION TOGRANT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT
Plaintiff Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”)
moves for default judgment against defendantsCounter Balance Enterprises Ltd., Intercontinental Domain Inc., Mackrooner Ltd., Inc., Newgate
Services Ld., Inc. (also known as SMTM Enterprises Ltd.; hereinafter referred to as “Newgate”),
Pioneer Enterprises Ltd., YourTick, Paul Baker, Reggie Bush, Karrie-Lee Kareeman, MichaelSuggs (doing business as Michael Timothy Suggs, Timothy Suggs, FB Promotions/FreebiePromos, and Rabbit GoGo Media LLC
; hereinafter referred to as “Suggs”)
, and Cleanser Products
(collectively referred to as “Default Defendants”)
under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). (Pl.
s Mot. for Default J., Dkt. No. 146.) None of these Default Defendants formally appeared in this action, nor did they respond to
Facebook’s
 complaint or motion for default judgment.
1
Plaintiff asks the court to provide injunctive relief,order the transfer of all infringing domain names to Facebook, and to award statutory damages
1
Facebook also sought default judgment against Michael Navarini (doing business as Banana AdsLLC), who appeared at the hearing on the motion. This Court recommended that default judgmentagainst Navarini and Banana Ads not be entered pending settlement negotiations. (
See
Dkt. No.164.) The presiding judge subsequently withdrew her referral of Navarini and Banana Ads for 
report and recommendation on Facebook’s Motion for Default Judgment (
See
Dkt. No. 185), sothis report and recommendation is limited to F
acebook’s claims against
the remaining elevendefendants.
Case4:11-cv-03619-YGR Document186 Filed04/30/13 Page1 of 37
 
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 pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1117(d). For the reasons set forth below, the Court recommends that
Plaintiff’s motion be granted
against all defendants.
I.
 
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Plaintiff Facebook is a free online network that helps people connect and share with their friends, family, and the world around them. (
Pl.’s
Mot. Default J.
(Pl.’s Mot.)
at 1; First Am.Compl.
(“FAC”)
, Dkt. No. 36, ¶ 25.) Facebook owns numerous trademarks and service marks
(collectively “Facebook marks”)
which have been registered with the United States Patent andTrademark Office. (FAC, ¶ 29; Ex. D.) Facebook has continuously used its marks in interstatecommerce in the United States in connection with its online networking services since 2004.(FAC, ¶31.) Facebook asserts that its marks are recognizable to users and advertisers, and are
famous within the meaning of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c). (FAC, ¶32; Pl.’s
Mot. at 2.)Each of the default defendants registered at least one Internet domain name that includesor misspells the FACEBOOK domain,
 facebook.com
,
(hereinafter “infringing domain names”) or  — 
in the case of Cleanser Products
 — 
owned and operated websites to which Internet users were
redirected when they visited infringing domain names (hereinafter “landing websites”
 
or “landing pages”
). (FAC, Ex. A.; Decl.
of Ryan Spear in Support of Pl.’s Mot. for Default J. (“
Spear Decl.
”)
, Ex. A.)Some owners of the infringing domain names worked with Cleanser Products to divertInternet users who were attempting to log-on to Facebook, but who accidentally misspelled thedomain, to instead reach deceptive, typosquatting sites, which then redirected users to a landingwebsite that looked like Facebook, but was owned by Cleanser Products. (
See
FAC, ¶¶ 15-16, 70-113, 120-
136; Pl.’s Mot. at 2
-3.)Facebook filed the instant suit on July 22, 2011 alleging cybersquatting under 15 U.S.C. §1125(d), federal trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114, false designation of originunder 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), trademark dilution under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c), breach of contract, andtortious interference with prospective economic advantage. (Dkt. No. 1.) Facebook filed its FirstAmended Complaint on December 12, 2011 alleging the same causes of action. (Dkt. No. 36.)
Case4:11-cv-03619-YGR Document186 Filed04/30/13 Page2 of 37
 
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All defendants were served with the summons and first amended complaint or waivedservice. Defendants Paul Baker and Michael Suggs both filed waivers of service. (Dkt. Nos. 7and 56.) Suggs filed three waivers of service, including waivers for FB Promotions and RabbitGoGo Media LLC. (Dkt. No. 7.) The nine remaining defendants were served on March 28, 2012via e-
mail consistent with the presiding judge’
s March 27, 2012 order (Dkt. No. 79) allowingservice of certain defendants via email. (Decl. of Service by Alternative Means, Dkt. No. 88.) In
complying with the presiding judge’s order, Facebook provided confirmations that the emails
were received by the recipients. (
See
Dkt. No. 88, Exh. 1-9, 13-18, 23-28.) Despite being served,defendants never served Plaintiff with a responsive pleading.On May 10, 2012, Facebook filed a request for entry of default against Michael Suggs.(Dkt. No. 85.) The Clerk entered the default against Suggs on May 11, 2012. (Dkt. No. 87.)On June 19, 2012, Facebook filed requests for entry of default against Counter Balance(Dkt. No. 91), Intercontinental (Dkt. No. 97), Karrie-Lee Karreman (Dkt. No. 99), Mackrooner (Dkt. No. 101), Newgate (Dkt. No. 103), Pioneer (Dkt. No. 107), YourTick (Dkt. No. 111), andReggie Bush (Dkt. No. 113). The Clerk entered the defaults on June 22, 2012. (Dkt. No. 122.)On June 20, 2012, Facebook filed a request for entry of default against Cleanser Products.(Dkt. No. 117). The Clerk entered the default on June 22, 2012. (Dkt. No. 122.)On September 14, 2012, Facebook filed a request for entry of default against Paul Baker.(Dkt. No. 133). The Clerk entered the default on September 17, 2012. (Dkt. No. 135.)Facebook now moves for default judgment under the Anticybersquatting Consumer 
Protection Act (“ACPA”),
15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), against all Default Defendants. Specifically,Facebook seeks statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(d), orders transferring all infringingdomain names to Facebook under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)(C), and orders permanently enjoiningDefault Defendants from infringing on the FACEBOOK mark 
and/or interfering with Facebook’s
 business in the future./////////
Case4:11-cv-03619-YGR Document186 Filed04/30/13 Page3 of 37

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