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Lamparello v. Falwell

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
420 F.3d 309 (4th Cir. 2005)


Facts

Reverend Jerry Falwell (defendant) had trademarks for “Jerry Falwell” and “Falwell,” and he operated a website at www.falwell.com. Christopher Lamparello (plaintiff) registered the domain name www.fallwell.com and operated a website that criticized the teachings and beliefs of Falwell. Lamparello’s website had a disclaimer that stated: “This website is NOT affiliated with Jerry Falwell or his ministry.” Lamparello did not sell any goods or services from his website. Lamparello also did not seek any payment from Falwell for the rights to the domain name www.fallwell.com. Lamparello filed suit seeking a declaratory ruling that his website did not infringe on Falwell’s trademarks. Falwell counterclaimed for trademark infringement and violation of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). The district court granted Falwell summary judgment. Lamparello appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Motz, J.)

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