Frayne v. Chicago 2016, No. 08 C 5290, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jan. 8, 2009) (Kennelly, J.).
Judge Kennelly granted defendants’ motion to dismiss as to plaintiff’s Lanham Act Section 114(2)(D) reverse domain name highjacking and attempted highjacking claims.* Plaintiff registered Chicago2016.com in 2004 at which time plaintiff was not aware that Chicago intended to bid for the 2016 Olympics. In 2007, plaintiff was contacted by a representative of Chicago 2016 and asked whether plaintiff would entertain offers for the website. Plaintiff refused and defendants eventually initiated proceedings before the World Intellectual Property Organization alleging that plaintiff registered the domain name in bad faith and in violation of the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute Resolution Policy ("UDRP"). Plaintiff’s domain name, however, was never suspended, disabled or transferred to defendants.
Plaintiff conceded that highjacking claim should be dismissed because the domain name had not been suspended, disabled or transferred. And the Court held that the Lanham Act did not create a cause of action for attempted highjacking. The text of the statute specifically required that the domain name actually be suspended, disabled or transferred.