Calif. Judge Orders Site Operators to Cease Using Playboy Name, Marks

Mealey's Litigation Reports: Intellectual Property, September 22, 1997


SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge has ordered several Web site operators to cease using the registered marks "Playboy" and "Playmate" in their domain names and to remove buried code or metatags from their home pages and Web sites (Playboy Enterprises Inc. v. Calvin Designer Label, et al., No. C-97-3204, N.D. Calif.).

U.S. Judge Charles A. Legge of the Northern District of California held that Playboy Enterprises Inc. (PEI) is likely to succeed on the merits of its trademark infringement action against Calvin Designer Label, Calvin Fuller and Calvin Merit.

(Text of Order in Section D. Mealey's Document #16-970922-107.)

The judge found that the defendants have used the Playboy and Playmate marks in their domain names without authorization by PEI and have placed PEI's registered mark in machine readable code or metatags on their Web pages. The code words are used by Internet search engines to categorize sites.

The judge ordered the defendants to immediately request that Network Solutions Inc. (NSI), which registers all domain names, cancel its domain names using the Playboy and/or Playmate marks.

PEI is represented by Neil A. Smith of Limbach & Limbach in San Francisco and David R. Francescani and Maryann Hayes of Darby & Darby in New York.


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