According to a news release today, prestigious law firm Winston & Strawn prevailed in a lawsuit on behalf of NBA basketball player Chris Bosh, who not only won the domain name ChrisBosh.com, but he also won a financial judgment of $120,000 (including legal fees and damages). The $120,000 judgment does not include the attorney’s fees that the domain owner needed to pay for his own representation, of course.
The court ruled that the plaintiff had used Bosh’s name to generate revenues for the domain owner, without the player’s consent or approval. The release also noted that the defendant also owns something like 800 other domain names of athletes and other famous professionals, some of whom may see this judgment and look to file suit to claim their domain name back as well as any potential damages.
This should serve as a warning to people who register the domain names of famous athletes, politicians, and celebrities. There certainly are legitimate uses for these types of domain names, but there are also ways that owners can put these domain names at risk, and also put their business at risk. When you buy or own a domain name like this, you should consider the risk vs. reward of ownership, and see this case as an example of a major risk.
I frequently see people discussing this issue in domain forums, and now you have an answer.