Academy of Motion Pictures and Science recently lost their case against the domain distributing giant GoDaddy regarding trademark infringement. U.S. District Court Judge Andre Birotte Jr. has ruled in the favour of GoDaddy stating that there is no staunch proof against them. The Film Academy Awards , that was hoping to receive a compensation upto $30 million are now empty handed after the judge’s ruling this Thursday.
A case was filed against GoDaddy by the Film Academy claiming that the domain giant had bad faith intent to earn profit by helping clients make money on sites similar to the one they have. Websites like 2011Oscars.com, betacademyawards.com, academyawardbuzz.com and others, have been up and running causing concern to the ‘Oscar’ team about the striking similarities some of the websites share with theirs. Judge Birotte however is of an opinion that there is not enough proof that GoDaddy had any intentions of making money by using the terms ‘Academy Awards’ and ‘Oscar’.
The Judge further added that every client of GoDaddy signs the agreement stating no third party rights are compromised and thus the domain provider had every right to have good faith on the same. And thus GoDaddy cannot be held liable for the actions of the Accused Domains until such time where a third party has brought its attention to the matter of infringement. Upon knowing the same, the domain provider almost immediately makes the website advertisement free and thus could not deceive the Academy with an intention of earning profit.
The Judge further brought into attention some of the other websites like oscar360.com, oscarcomedy.com, theoscarteam.com, or makingtheroundswithoscar.com and stated that the court fails to see how these websites could have caused any harm to the accusation as these websites contained no reference to their marks. The case that has been ongoing since almost six years now has finally come to an end with GoDaddy walking away free of charges.
Credit: Hollywood Reporter