Facebook wins millions in case against typo squatters
The social network was awarded $2.8 million in damages from defendants who squatted on variations of Facebook's domain name.
Time to rethink that get-rich-quick strategy of buying up Facebook-like domain names.
Tuesday, the United States District Court of Northern California ruled in favor of Facebook in its case against typo squatters, aka parties that were squatting on various misspellings of Facebook's trademarked domain name.
The 11 named defendants in the case were ordered to pay the social network damages ranging form $5,000 to $25,000 per domain, with additional fees tacked on for bad behavior like redirecting visitors to other sites. Each was also ordered to transfer the rights to their domains to the company.
In total, Facebook was awarded $2.8 million in damages. The court ultimately sided with Facebook's assertion that defendants made money by purposefully confusing Facebook users.
"We are pleased with the court's recommendation," Craig Clark, associate general counsel for Facebook, said in a statement shared with CNET. "We will continue to use all the tools at our disposal to enforce against those who attempt to take advantage of the people who use our service."
Defendant Newgate was the most egregious offender, at least in terms of damages ordered. Newgate was ordered to pay $1.34 million for 47 infringing domains, 4 of which directed visitors to Cleanser Products' landing pages. Michael Suggs, the owner of an expansive domain-name collection including faccbook.com, facceook.com, and facecbook.com, was ordered to pay Facebook $705,000 in damages. Several of Suggs' domains also redirected to Cleanser Products' sites.