A recent Southern Distrct of NY case, Knight-McConnell v. Cummins, has been reported as holding that linking from defendant’s site to plaintiff’s site will not constitute trademark infringement. There is also broad language that use of another’s trademark in a URL or pathname will not constitute trademark infringement.
True, but the fact pattern is quirky. This is a grudge match between two pro se parties in the rarefied world of high finance. Plaintiff’s website talks stocks up and defendant’s website talks down those same stocks (and apparently talks down plaintiff as well – there is a libel charge in here – as defendant called plaintiff crazy, a crook, and fat).
In this context, defendant had no intention of anyone thinking that there was a connection between the parties, and, presumably, in order to trash plaintiff, defendant needed to make it very clear that there was no connection. The court’s language about linking and pathnames should be read in that context (and the language does limit itself to this case).
Knight-McConnell v.Cummins, 2004 WL 1713824 (SDNY July 29 2004) (Buchwald, J) (no online version available yet).