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Harrods Ltd. V. Sixty Internet Domain Names

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
302 F.3d 214 (2002)


Facts

Harrods Ltd. (Harrods UK) (plaintiff) had operated a department store in London since 1849. Harrods (Buenos Aires) Ltd. (Harrods BA) (defendant) was a formerly affiliated company that had for a time operated a Harrods department store in Buenos Aires, but that now operated only the building’s parking garage. Harrods BA retained the rights to the trademark “Harrods” for much of South America, however, although Harrods UK held the rights to the mark for most of the rest of the world. After Harrods UK launched a website with the domain name “harrods.com” Harrods BA proceeded to register approximately 300 domain names in the United States that included the “harrods” mark. Many of these domain names included additional English words, some of which described goods or services offered by Harrods UK but not Harrods BA, such as “harrodsinsurance.” Harrods UK asserted in rem jurisdiction to sue 60 of these domain names under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, alleging infringement, dilution, and registration in bad faith. The district court dismissed the infringement and dilution claims, granted summary judgment to six of the domain names for the bad-faith claims, and found for Harrods UK for the bad-faith claims against the remaining 54 domain names. Both Harrods UK and Harrods BA appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Michael, J.)

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