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).
Case Name: 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
Online 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.
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