• Toyota Strikes Out In Bid To Prevent Use of LEXUS In Third Party Domain Names: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. v. Tabari
  • December 1, 2010 | Author: Timothy J. Kelly
  • Law Firm: Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto - New York Office
  • In a decision that may be a harbinger of things to come with respect to key trademark issues, the Ninth Circuit recently clarified that the use of a trademark in a domain name does not, in and of itself, amount to an infringing and thus preventable use. Rather, as with most trademark disputes, the question is whether the unauthorized use of the trademark in the domain name gives rise to a likelihood of confusion. In reversing the district court’s grant of a permanent injunction (and remanding the case to the district court), the Ninth Circuit in Toyota found that the use of the domain names “buy-a-lexus.com” and “buyorleaselexus.com” in conjunction with a personal shopping service facilitating the sale of genuine LEXUS automobiles, amounted to fair, non-infringing uses of Toyota’s well-known LEXUS trademark.