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Baylor University v. International Star

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Citation Edit

Baylor Univ. v. Int'l Star, Inc., 61 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1700 (W.D. Tex. 2001).

Factual Background Edit

Plaintiff owns the registered marks BAYLOR, BAYLOR UNIVERSITY, and BAYLOR BEARS. David Roberts registered the domain name "" on behalf of defendant corporation. In May 2001, plaintiff sent defendant a cease-and-desist letter, after which defendant connected the domain name to a website that prominently displayed the name "" and stated that it was "An Alumni Sponsored site." Plaintiff sued for infringement, dilution, cybersquatting under the ACPA, [[unjust enrichment], and other claims.

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

Following entry of default judgment against defendant corporation, the court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment against Roberts, who failed to file any response to the motion. Plaintiff prevailed on its infringement claim because Roberts's activities were likely to cause confusion as to the sponsorship of the website. The court also granted summary judgment on plaintiff's dilution claim because plaintiff's marks were famous and distinctive, Roberts selected the domain name after plaintiff's marks became famous, and his activities diluted plaintiff's marks.

And the court granted summary judgment on plaintiff's cybersquatting claim because plaintiff's marks were famous, Roberts's domain name "" was confusingly similar to and diluted plaintiff's marks, and he registered the domain name in bad faith. Regarding Roberts's bad faith, he had no trademark rights in "BaylorBears"; "BaylorBears" was not a legal or nickname for Roberts; he made no prior bona fide offering of any goods or services in connection with the domain name but rather posted a website only after he received plaintiff's cease-and-desist letter; and he was not engaged in fair non-commercial use of plaintiff's mark because he displayed "BaylorBears" in connection with various services, including targeting Baylor students and alumni to post material on his website.

The court awarded $10,000 in statutory damages under the ACPA. Finally, based on the undisputed facts that established plaintiff's other claims, the court granted summary judgment on plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim. It awarded plaintiff its reasonable attorney’s fees and permanently enjoined Roberts from using, registering, or holding any domain name or mark "that includes the mark BAYLOR, any other mark owned by [plaintiff], or any confusingly similar mark."

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