Traverse Legal cybersquatting law attorneys obtained judgment on behalf of their client against
full-service digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music and video company Overdrive, Inc. for cyber-piracy (aka cybersquatting) and
breach of contract. On January 10, 2013,
Judgment was entered in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Michigan, Southern Division
against Defendant Overdrive, Inc.for the amount of $74,500.00 plus costs and
reasonable attorney fees. The $74,500.00 (out of a maximum award of $100,000) award against Overdrive, Inc. was for statutory damages under the ACPA. The total award, with attorney fees, could exceed $200,000. Further,
Overdrive, Inc., was ordered to transfer the domain name “forwardreviews.com”
(a typographical variation of Plaintiff’s trademark protected domain
forewordreviews.com) to Plaintiff. This
cyber-squatting and cyber-piracy judgment against Overdrive, Inc., is one of
the largest jury awards for trademark infringement on a domain
name under the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA) 15 USC § 1125(d)(m).
ForeWord Magazine, Inc. v Overdrive, Inc., United States District Court,
Western District of Michigan, Southern Division, No. 1:10-cv-01144. The case is on appeal as of March 2013.
Representing OverDrive, Inc.: Lester S. Potash – Attorney.
Company Representatives For Overdrive, Inc. Steven Potash (CEO) and Mike Vantusko (CFO).
OverDrive is funded by Insight Venture Partners, a private-equity firm that focuses on technology companies. Overdrive’s key products and services: OverDrive Media Console, OverDrive Read, OverDrive Media Station, Content Reserve.
BACKGROUND of ACPA
extortion comes in many forms and occurs all too often on the internet. Whether it is people extorting companies by registering
and using company names, typographical variations of company names or misdirecting
Internet traffic to competing websites, cyber-squatting or cyber-extortion
remains a serious problem. As noted by Spencer
Abraham, one of the sponsors of the ACPA:
On-line extortion in any form is
unacceptable and outrageous. Whether it's people extorting companies by
registering company names, misdirecting Internet users to inappropriate sites,
or otherwise attempting to damage a trademark that a business has spent decades
building into a recognizable brand, anyone engaging in cyber-squatting activity
should be held accountable for their actions.
As noted in Interstellar Starship Servs., Ltd. v. Epix,
Inc., 304 F.3d 936, 946 (9th Cir. 2002), "Cybersquatting is the
Internet version of an unlawful land grab. Cybersquatters register well-known
brand names as Internet domain names in order to force the rightful owners of
the marks to come forward and pay for the right to engage in electronic
commerce under their own name."
UPDATE June 20, 2013: "The matter has been resolved by agreement of the parties and the appeal dismissed. The matter is now closed.
BACKGROUND OF LAWSUIT AGAINST DEFENDANT OVERDRIVE, INC.