Ontario court fines 'naked' cybersquatter

Canada

In eGalaxy Multimedia Inc v Bailey (Toronto 02-CV-227436 CM-1 (Ont SCJ)), for the first time ever, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has ordered a defendant in a cybersquatting case to pay punitive damages.

eGalaxy, which has used the words 'naked news' in relation to a website and television channel since January 2000, filed a trademark application in October 2000 for NAKED NEWS in relation to telecommunication services and various goods. Barrie Bailey subsequently registered the domain names 'nakednewscasino.com', 'nakednewscasino.net' and 'nakednews.org'. eGalaxy brought proceedings to obtain the transfer of these.

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted default judgment against Bailey on the basis of deemed admissions in the statement of claim. Therefore, the court ordered:

  • the transfer of the disputed domain names to eGalaxy;

  • Bailey to pay C$10,000 to cover eGalaxy's legal costs; and

  • Bailey to pay C$5,000 in punitive damages.

John Macera, Macera & Jarzyna, Ottawa

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