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Acad. of Motion Picture Arts & Scis. v. GoDaddy.com, Inc.

United States District Court for the Central District of California

September 10, 2015, Decided; September 10, 2015, Filed

Case No. CV 10-03738 AB (CWx); Case No. CV 13-08458-ABC (CW)

Opinion

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW (Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a)(1))

Following the bench trial of the above-captioned matter from August 4-7, 2015, the Court makes the following Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law:

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

A. The Parties

1. GoDaddy.com, Inc. was incorporated under the laws of Arizona on January 13, 1997. On December 5, 2011, GoDaddy.com, Inc. changed its corporate form to become a limited liability company under the laws of Delaware. Consistent with its change in corporate form, GoDaddy.com, Inc. changed its name to GoDaddy.com, LLC ("GoDaddy"). [Stipulated Fact ("SF") 10 (Dkt. No. 725, FPTCO at Appendix A).]

2. GoDaddy is the largest domain name registrar in the world with approximately 60 million domain names under management. GoDaddy has registered more than 150 million domain names since becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar in 2000, averaging over 25,000 domain registrations per day. On average, GoDaddy registers a domain name every 0.7 seconds. [SF 11-14; Trial Transcript [*4]  ("TT") at 256:25-257:8 (Hanyen); 346:16-20 (Nicks).]

3. In addition to registering domain names, GoDaddy helps individuals and small businesses get online by hosting their websites as well as providing tools to design, build, and manage their online presence. [TT at 259:15-22 (Hanyen); 345:1-7 (Nicks).]

4. GoDaddy serves 13 million customers around the world using 40,000 servers in data centers worldwide. On average, GoDaddy receives over 10 billion domain name service inquiries each day. [TT at 259:23-25 (Hanyen); 346:12-15 (Nicks).]

5. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences ("AMPAS") is a non-profit founded for the purpose of advancing the motion pictures arts and sciences by promoting cultural, educational and technological achievements. [SF 1.]

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2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120871 *; 2015 WL 5311085

ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS AND SCIENCES, a California nonprofit corporation, Plaintiff, v. GODADDY.COM, INC., a Delaware corporation; THE GODADDY GROUP INC., a Delaware corporation; DOMAINS BY PROXY, INC., a Delaware Corporation; GREENDOMAINMARKET.COM, an unknown entity; BDS, an unknown entity; and XPDREAMTEAM LLC, a California limited liability corporation, Defendants.

Prior History: Acad. of Motion Pictures Arts & Scis. v. GoDaddy.com, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 145104 (C.D. Cal., Sept. 20, 2010)

CORE TERMS

GoDaddy, domain name, Domains, parked, advertisements, trademark, registrant, Marks, bad faith, pages, infringing, eBay, registered, website, user, Internet, filter, display, third-party, counterfeit, automated, keywords, trademark infringement, Programs, listings, pay-per-click, fair use, customers, monetized, holders

Computer & Internet Law, Protection of Rights, Internet Domain Names, Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Preponderance of Evidence, Contracts Law, Types of Contracts, General Overview, Judicial Notice, Trademark Law, Eligibility for Trademark Protection, Distinctiveness, Inferences & Presumptions, Presumptions, Causes of Action Involving Trademarks, Infringement Actions, Defenses to Incontestability, Fair Use, Business & Corporate Compliance, Contributory Infringement, Governments, Courts, Determinations, Nominative Fair Use, Burdens of Proof