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CompuServe Inc. v. Cyber Promotions, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
962 F.Supp. 1015 (1997)


Facts

Cyber Promotions, Inc. (Cyber) (defendant) was in the business of sending unsolicited e-mail to internet users, including CompuServe Inc. (CompuServe) (plaintiff) subscribers. CompuServe notified Cyber that it was prohibited from using CompuServe computer equipment to process and store the unsolicited e-mail. CompuServe asked Cyber to terminate this practice, but Cyber refused. Accordingly, CompuServe attempted to block the flow of Cyber’s email, however, Cyber manipulated its email to avoid detection by CompuServe. CompuServe contends that Cyber was trespassing upon CompuServe’s personal property, by manipulating Cyber’s email in order to continue sending unsolicited e-mail using CompuServe’s equipment. Due to Cyber’s actions, CompuServe lost customers and its equipment was compromised due to the increased demands placed on CompuServe’s equipment. CompuServe moved for a preliminary injunction, based on the common law theory of trespass to chattel, to extend a temporary restraining order previously issued by the court. The preliminary injunction sought to prevent Cyber from sending unsolicited e-mail and advertisements to CompuServe subscribers. 

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Graham, J.)

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