Gamble on dismissal of casino cybersquatting case fails
In The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe v Redican, the US District Court for the District of Connecticut has rejected the defendant's motion to dismiss the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe's trademark infringement and cybersquatting action for lack of personal jurisdiction.
The tribe operates Foxwoods Resorts and Casino, one of the largest casinos in the world, from its tribal territory in Mashantucket, Connecticut. It owns several US registrations for the mark FOXWOODS for use in connection with its resort and casino services. The tribe also uses the domain name 'Foxwoods.com' to promote the resort and casino, and provide information about the tribe on the Internet. It brought an action in federal court alleging trademark infringement, federal and state trademark dilution, false designation or description and cybersquatting against Raymond Redican Jr after the latter repeatedly offered to sell the domain names 'Foxwood.com' and 'Foxwood.org' for between $3.5 million and $20 million.
The US District Court for the District of Connecticut rejected Redican's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. It found that Redican's registration and use of the 'Foxwood.com' and 'Foxwood.org' domain names to divert the tribe's Foxwoods casino customers to his own gambling website "constituted continuous and systematic contacts with the forum" and "support the conclusion that the exercise of jurisdiction over him would be proper on these facts". The court also pointed to Redican's numerous attempts to sell the domain names and his frequent visits (and losses) at the tribe's Foxwoods casino as sufficient contacts for keeping the case in Connecticut.
The decision allows the Mashantucket Pequot tribe to proceed with its action for trademark infringement, dilution, false designation or description and cybersquatting against Redican in Connecticut.
James L Bikoff and Patrick L Jones, Silverberg Goldman & Bikoff, Washington DC
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