Virtual City Vision is the owner of the domain NewportNews.com
Of course there is a city by the name of Newport News and its in Virginia.
There are also cities named Newport around the world, for which the domain Newport News would be relevant and fair use.
The ruling ends a legal battle between the clothing store and Virtual City Vision that has lasted for more than a decade.
According to the court record, Newport News (the clothing company) filed a complaint against the domain holder in 2000.
However in 2000 the site NewportNews.com offered tourism-related information on the city of Newport News, Virgina.
In 2007, Newport News, the clothing chain, offered to buy the domain, but its offer was rejected.
The domain holder countered to the undisclosed offer, that he would sell the domain name for a ‘seven-figure’ amount, or, in the alternative, sell Newport News goods on its website for a commission”
Sometime thereafter, the domain holder changed the content of the site from tourism information on the city in Virgina to showing ads for women’s fashion and women’s apparel.
The clothing company filed suit in 2008.
In 2009 Newport News won summary judgment against the domain holder and the court also awarded the trademark holder $80,000 in statutory damages AND it’s reasonable attorney’s fees. ”
So the domain holder took a great Geo, changed the content of the site to compete against the trademark holder and lost the domain, $80K in damages and certain six figures in attorney’s for both itself and the trademark holder.
Looks like a good ruling by the court, but the actions of the domain holder brought on the whole problem and changed a winner into a loser.
Good cautionary tale for all.