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Archived updates for Thursday, April 07, 2005

Non-Commercial Gripe Site Name not Actionable under Lanham Act

In Bosley Medical Institute v. Kremer (9th Cir. April 4, 2005), Defendant Michael Kremer was dissatisfied with the hair restoration services provided to him by the Bosley Medical Institute, Inc. In an effort to get even, Kremer
started a website at, which was uncomplimentary of the Bosley Medical Institute. However, “Bosley Medical� was the registered
trademark of the Bosley Medical Institute, Inc., which brought suit against Kremer for trademark infringement and like claims.

The court held that Kremer's "noncommercial use of a trademark as the
domain name of a website — the subject of which is consumer commentary about the products and services represented by the mark — does not constitute infringement under the Lanham Act." The court also noted that the issue under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act was whether Kremer had a “bad faith intent to profit� from the use of the trademark in his domain name, such as by making an extortionate offer to sell the site to Bosley. In addition, the court alsoconcluded that Bosley Medical’s complaint about the unauthorized use of its trademark as Kremer’s domain name was also not so lacking in merit as to be susceptible to an anti-SLAPP motion to strike at an early stage of the case.
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