NY State Cybersquatting Action Relating to Personal Names

Plaintiff, Norman Seabrook, is the president of the NYC Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association (“COBA”).  Defendant is running for the presidency of COBA and registered NORMANSEABROOK.COM, which resolves to a website supporting his candidacy.  Plaintiff alleges dilution, federal cybersquatting, NY right to privacy, NY deceptive practices and NY unlawful registration of a domain name (Business Law Section 148), which reads in pertinent part:

§ 148. Unlawful registration of domain name.

1. No person or entity shall register a domain name that consists of the name of another living person, or a name substantially and confusingly similar thereto, without
that person’s or entity’s consent, with the specific intent to profit
from such name by selling the domain name for financial gain to that
person or any third party.

The federal cybersquatting cause has to solve the personal name conundrum – namely, was the personal name used as a trademark. This (alleged) fact pattern seems to be the sort of thing that would have concerned the NY state legislature when drafting a local cybersquatting statute relating to personal names, and yet it is conceivable that this defendant doesn’t want to sell the name.

Complaint Seabrook Ny State

2 responses to “NY State Cybersquatting Action Relating to Personal Names”

  1. Vincent Lyon says:

    It certainly doesn’t sound like he registered it with the intent to profit “by selling” it.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the federal cybersquatting law simply refer to a bad faith intent to profit? I’d say creating the false impression of endorsement of a candidacy is a bad faith intent to profit, even if not to profit by selling.