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TMI, Inc. v. Maxwell

Plaintiff, the builder of Trend Maker Homes, sued Maxwell for maintained a web site at “trendmakerhome.com.” that recounted his disappointment at the process involved in his purchase of a home from the plaintiff. Defending himself pro se, Maxwell lost a judgment that ordered him to giv up his domain name and pay TMI $80,000 in statutory damages and attorney fees. Public Citizen undertook an appeal and argued that the trademark laws did not apply to Maxwell’s non-commercial web site, that his site did not create actionable likelihood of confusion or dilution, and that Maxwell was not guilty of cybersquatting. The court of appeals reversed in all respects.