Chicago (IL) – Verizon Communications was awarded $33.2 million in a lawsuit against a domain aggregator that registered hundreds of domain names containing Verizon trademarks.
In June, Verizon sued OnlineNic, accusing the company of trademark infringement and registering addresses that were created specifically to confuse web browsers. The confusing names were allegedly used to send users to pages that advertised similar products to those that Verizon sells.
Each of the 633 domains registered by OnlineNic received a default judgment of $50,000 as well as an order to deliver to Verizon not only the funds for the lawsuit but each of the identical or similar domain names. Verizon was originally seeking $66.3 million in damages for the confusing domain names.
At the time of this writing it was unclear whether OnlineNic will actually be able to pay the entire judgment amount to Verizon.
“This case should send a clear message and serve to deter cybersquatters who continue to run businesses for the primary purpose of misleading consumers,” Sarah Deutsch, an associate general counsel at Verizon, told the New York Times.
OnlineNic could potentially be in much more trouble, as the company currently owns more than 900,000 domain names that are eerily similar to those of companies such as Adidas, MySpace, Google, Walmart Stores and Yahoo.