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A US court has awarded an insurance company $1.2 million in damages in a cybersquatting dispute.
In a judgment handed down at the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Florida-based Insurance Depot Marketing was fined for failing to respond to Neutron Insurance’s complaint.
Neutron sued Insurance Depot citing trademark infringement and domain name violation under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA).
Insurance Depot registered the domain insurancedepotamerica.com. However Neutron already owned a US trademark for the phrase ‘Insurance Depot’, which was granted in 1993.
In a complaint filed on April 23 last year, Neutron complained that the domain name infringed its trademark. Insurance Depot was given until May 14 to respond.
After the company did not respond to the complaint, Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos entered a default judgment in favour of Neutron on Wednesday, January 20.
Under US law, a party can claim a maximum award of $2 million for the wilful infringement of its trademarks, and under the ACPA can claim a maximum award of $100,000 for each domain name.
Neutron requested $1.1 million for the wilful infringement of its trademark and $100,000 for the domain registration.
While acknowledging that US courts are reluctant to grant default judgments, Ramos said that Neutron demonstrated that it was entitled to one because “defendant has failed to appear and has halted the adversary process”.
USPTO; ACPA; cybersquatting; trademarks; domain names; Neutron Insurance; Insurance Depot Marketing; US District Court for the Southern District of Texas