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Facebook CyberSquatting Judgement: 105 Domains; 10 Domain Holders; $2.8 Million in Damages – Draft

Posted on the 01 May 2013 by Worldwide @thedomains

A federal court in California awarded Facebook $2.8 Million dollars under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) yesterday.

There were 10 domain name holders and one company that seemed to supply the landing page that some of the domain holders used to monetize the domains.

In all there were 105 domain names at issue.

The Court actually set up a formula to determine what the damage per domain should be based on several factors outlined below starting as low as $5,000 per domain but having several multipliers based factors like how many infringing domains each Defendant had, what they did with the domain and whether the domain had “Facebook” spelled right or was a typo.

All of the defendants were defaulting parties meaning that none formally appeared in this action, nor did they respond to Facebook’s complaint or motion for default judgment.

Here is the relevant part of the court opinion which lays out the formula to compute damages against each of the defendants:

“While some of the landing websites to which users were redirected looked similar to Facebook, they are noticeably different. On the contrary, in eAdGear the infringing domain and website appeared to be the site it was infringing upon, and even purported to sell the same products. ”

“So while the Court should not look beyond the domain name to consider the content of a website in determining whether there is an ACPA violation, the content is relevant in determining a “just” damages award. ”

“Second, Default Defendants were engaged in typosquatting, which, while this is one type of behavior that the ACPA is designed to prevent, it is not as egregious as the cases that include the correct spellings of plaintiffs’ trademarked names.” See, e.g., Verizon California Inc. v. Online NIC, Verizon California Inc. v. OnlineNIC Inc., C 08-2832 JF (RS), 2008 WL 5352022 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 19, 2008) (court ordered statutory damages at default judgment of $50,000 per infringing domain against serial cybersquatter who had registered 663 domain names, including,, and;

Lastly, while Default Defendants’ misconduct was willful and comprises the behavior that the ACPA is designed to prevent, the Court is hesitant to apply the maximum penalty in a default setting. This does not mean, however, that the failure of Default Defendants to participate in the litigation should mean that they should be ordered to pay the minimum statutory damages.

The Court notes that Facebook, in seeking the maximum damages of $100,000 per infringing domain, made no attempt to distinguish between each defendant’s conduct despite the existence of varying degrees of wrongdoing.…

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