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Morgan v. Nevyas

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Use of Brand Names in Domain Names and Metatags

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Description:

Dominic Morgan established a set of web sites at anitanevyaslasik.com, herbertnevyaslasik.com, and nevyaslasik.com to help call consumers' attention to his dissatisfaction with two Philadelphia-based lasik surgeons who, he believes, botched his lasik surgery and hence damaged his eyesight permanently. The surgeons obtained an administrative decision from the National "Arbitration" Forum that took away his domain names on grounds of trademark infringement. Invoking the many court decisions from around the country that have held that domain names about a trademark holder may use the trademark holder's name, decisions that the NAF panelist refused to consider, Public Citizen is representing Morgan in a declaratory judgment action seeking a ruling that his domain names represent non-commercial free speech, truthfully denoting the topic of his web sites.

After the suit for a declaratory action was filed, the Nevyases lost their taste for enforcing their trademark claims given the changes that had been made to the sites during the UDRP proceedings. The Nevyases agreed to a consent order giving up their legal claims.