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GoDaddy Is Accused of Profiting From Academy of Motion Picture Trademarks

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has accused GoDaddy.com LLC, the world’s largest domain name registrar, of illegally using its trademarks. Sally Abel, chair of Fenwick’s trademark group, spoke with the Daily Journal about this cybersquatting case that culminates five years of AMPAS complaints.

The GoDaddy case and other current cases like it are defining reasonable take down policy and what constitutes predatory action, Abel said. “We’re on a path toward a better understanding of where contributory liability kicks in,” she told the Daily Journal. “The entire domain industry is, I’m sure, watching very carefully."

GoDaddy allegedly profited from directing internet users to parked domains associated with trademarks like Oscars and Academy Awards instead of AMPAS websites. Parked domains refer to websites used solely for advertisements or those lacking valid business intent or substantive content.

GoDaddy argued that it believed its parking actions and use of the domains in question were legal, according to the Daily Journal.

However, AMPAS maintains that GoDaddy’s alleged use of their trademarks violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.​​​