[thelist] Trademarks and web page names

Nick Daverin ndaverin at marian.org
Wed Apr 8 14:44:31 CDT 2009

For anyone interested in this, our attorney came back to us with an  
excerpt of a 2003 decision of a Sixth Circuit Federal Court  
(Interactive Products Corporation v. a2z Mobile Office Solutions,  
Inc, Brian Lee, Mobile Office Enterprise, and Douglas Mayer) saying  
that if there is no consumer confusion regarding the source of  the  
web page and the source of services offered therein, there can be no  
trademark infringement.

He also referenced this page: http://www.netatty.com/trademark.html.  
Which also states "Trademarks can appear in portions of the URL other  
than the domain name. A subdirectory name can use a trademark, or a  
specific file name can contain a trademark. For example, the  
fictional URL http://www.netatty.com/pepsi/pizzahut.html would seem  
to violate two trademarks. But a federal judge in California has  
ruled that such usage is entitled to less protection than domain  
names because it is merely descriptive and does not entail the  
likelihood of confusion that domain name usage does. (Patmont Motor  
Werks Inc. v. Gateway Marine Inc., C-96-2703 (N.D.Cal. 1997). Judge  
Thelton Henderson found that the use of the trademark in the URL  
constituted “nominative fair use.” Id. The court found that as long  
as the content of the page does not lead to confusion about source,  
then there is no violation when a server uses a trademark as a  
descriptive indicator."


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