Mike posted an article about a case that I read yesterday regarding Louis Vuitton being awarded $32 million in damages from two hosting companies that were found guilty of Contributory Trademark Infringement. The companies had apparently been informed that there were counterfeit goods being sold on websites it hosted, but it did nothing:
“In awarding the damages, the jury agreed with Paris-based Louis Vuitton Malletier S.A.’s claims that the defendants knowingly allowed several Web sites they hosted to sell products that infringed Louis Vuitton’s copyrights and trademarks.”
When I first read the Computerworld article, my thought was that there are probably some domain parking companies that are nervous about this. At least two large parking companies have their operations in California, and they would presumably be held to the rulings of the U.S. District Court in the state of California. Further, one could believe that any company doing business with California residents could potentially be held liable for Contributory Trademark Infringement if they are doing anything to help monetize a trademark infringing domain name.
A parking company that provides PPC landing pages for hundreds of thousands of domain names could be in a similar position as the hosting companies in this situation. There’s no way to monitor every single potential trademark violation on all of the domain names it helps monetize. It will be even more important for them to look into every trademark infringement email notification they receive.