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Petroliam Nasional Berhad v. Godaddy.com, Inc.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-04-2013
Case #: No. 12-15584
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Full Text Opinion: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2013/12/04/12-15584.pdf
LexisNxis Link: 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 24115
Westlaw Link: 2013 WL 6246460

Trademarks: Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act: The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act does not include a cause of action for contributory cybersquatting.

Opinion (Smith):  Petroliam Nasional Berhad ("Petronas") owns the trademark "PETRONAS".  Godaddy.com ("GoDaddy") maintains domain name registrations.  GoDaddy also provides domain name forwarding services, which directs internet users who type in a particular domain name to a target site.  The target site is designated by the registrant.  A third party had registered the domain names "petronastower.net" and "petronastowers.net" and used GoDaddy's domain name forwarding service to direct the Internet users who access the sites to an adult web site.  A Petronas subsidiary contacted GoDaddy and requested that GoDdaddy take action against the website associated with petronastower.net.  GoDaddy did not address the alleged cybersquatting so Petronas sued GoDaddy for, inter alia, contributory cybersquatting under 15 U.S.C. 1125(d).  The district court dismissed all claims. Petronas appealed with respect to its claim of contributory cybersquatting. The Ninth Circuit Court found that the plain text of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) does not provide a cause of action for contributory cybersquatting, the ACPA does not incorporate the common law of trademark, and a cause of action for contributory cybersquatting would not further the goals of ACPA. Accordingly, the court AFFIRMED the judgment of the district court.