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Barcelona.com, Inc. v. Excelentisimo Ayuntamiento de Barcelona

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
330 F.3d 617 (2003)


Facts

Barcelona.com, Inc. (plaintiff) was incorporated in Delaware by a Spanish citizen who registered the domain name “Barcelona.com” with an American domain registrar for the purpose of creating a website that offered information on tourism to Barcelona. Excelentisimo Ayuntamiento de Barcelona (city council) (defendant) was the city council of Barcelona. The city council had registered a number of trademarks in Spain that included the word Barcelona. After Barcelona.com had failed to raise enough funding to develop the website as intended, it offered to sell the domain name to the city council. The city council demanded transfer of the domain name, and upon Barcelona.com’s refusal the city council initiated dispute resolution proceedings under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). The UDRP panelist held for the city council and ordered Barcelona.com to transfer the domain name. Barcelona.com appealed in United States federal court under a provision of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), an amendment to Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1051–1127). The district court applied Spanish law in the proceeding, held that Barcelona.com’s use of the domain name was unlawful, and ordered it transferred to the city council. Barcelona.com appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Niemeyer, J.)

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