NewYorkNewYork.com Decision: Owner Loses Domain Name + $101,000 Judgment
The domain name NewYorkNewYork.com appears to be a completely generic geographic domain name, since New York City is known as New York, New York. However, New York New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas had a major issue with the usage of the domain name, a hotel booking engine that allegedly had its photo on the homepage at one point, and they filed a lawsuit in November of 2009.
The Las Vegas Sun has reported that the lawsuit was won by this MGM Resorts-owned hotel/casino, and the penalty is pretty severe for the domain owner. A $101,000 judgment was issued for violating the Anti Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA), and the domain name is now owned by New York New York Hotel & Casino, LLC, although it currently resolves to a Network Solutions under construction page for me for some reason.
The ACPA calls for penalties of up to $100,000 per domain name that is in violation. This is harsh for two reasons. First, the owner probably didn’t make nearly that much money over the course of his ownership, although that is just a guess. Second, the domain name could have been used as a geographic domain name with a New York City focus, and it would have some aftermarket value. Further, it could have generated revenue by adding a hotel booking engine/widget on the site, although many people probably directly navigated hoping to find the Vegas property.
In my opinion, had the domain owner used the domain name to promote New York City (or to pay homage to the City), he would have been in the clear. He probably also could have used the domain name to book hotels in New York City as well. However, because of his alleged usage of trademarks owned by MGM and its property, he was found to have violated the ACPA, and was penalized.
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