On August 26, 2021, Haythem Chihi (“Chihi” or “Plaintiff”), self-representing, filed an intellectual property lawsuit against Facebook Inc, (“Defendant”), seeking injunctive and declaratory relief along with reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred for the alleged reverse domain name hijacking by the Defendant. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington with Judge Robert S. Lasnik presiding.
In the complaint, the Plaintiff alleged that, “This case involves “reverse domain name hijacking,” which occurs when an individual or an entity alleges that it is the owner of a trademark and asserts spurious claims of trademark infringement or trademark dilution against the owner of a domain name that is allegedly similar or identical to the registered trademark. Abbreviation “fb” is a generic term which has many different meanings. The Plaintiff’s website fbdown.net is a Social Media Website and is not associated with Facebook Inc or the Facebook brand. FBDOWN is a free to use social media service website that is operated by a small team. The Plaintiff does not attempt to be a commercial entity or assign otherwise to a brand.”
The Plaintiff further alleged that, “The Plaintiff did not register the Domain Names primarily for the purpose of preventing “the owner of the trademark or service mark from reflecting the mark in a corresponding domain name,” because the Plaintiff believed that the word “fb” is generic and no one has exclusive right to use this word. The Plaintiff’s website has the disclaimer eliminated any possibility that the Plaintiff was attempting to infer an affiliation with the Defendant and its mark. The disclaimer on the Plaintiff’s website states “FBDOWN is a Social Media Services website and is not associated by any means to Facebook or the Facebook brand and doesn't have anything to do with Facebook, Inc.”
The Plaintiff also alleged that, “The Plaintiff’s use of the Domain Names as his chosen domain names is a fair or otherwise lawful use of the term. The Plaintiff’s use of the Domain Names has been lawful and has not infringed upon the mark of Facebook. The Plaintiff did not provide material and misleading false contact information when applying for the registration of the Domain Names. The Plaintiff did not fail to maintain accurate contact information with respect to the Domain Names or with respect to any other domain name.”
There are three claims for relief laid down by the Plaintiff. The first and second claims deal with declaratory relief that there was no violation of Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d) and the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(a), respectively. The third claim deals with alleged reverse domain name hijacking, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1114(2)(D)(v).
In its prayer for relief, the Plaintiff has requested the Court for an order directing the Registrar of GoDaddy, Inc. to take all action necessary to enable the Domain Names, to discontinue any suspension of the Domain Names and to refrain from transferring the Domain Names from Chihi to Facebook along with an order or injunction enjoining the Defendant from interfering with or challenging Chihi’s registration, possession, or use of the Domain Names, a judgment declaring that Chihi may continue to use and enjoy the Domain Names without interference of any type by the Facebook, and any other relief as the Court may deem just and proper.
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Disposed - Other Disposed
Intellectual Property - Trademark
Robert S. Lasnik
Civil Cover Sheet
Email from Filer re Initiating Documents
Email from Filer re Address
Docket***Civil Case Terminated per Plaintiff's #5 Notice of Voluntary Dismissal (case). (SR) (Entered: 09/27/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#5) NOTICE of Voluntary Dismissal by Plaintiff Haythem Chihi. (SR) (Entered: 09/27/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#4) ORDER Denying IFP and Adopting #3 Report and Recommendation. Plaintiff's IFP application is DENIED based on financial ineligibility. Plaintiff is directed to pay the full filing fee of $402.00 within thirty (30) days of the date of this order. If the filing fee is not paid, this case will be dismissed. Signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SB) (cc: Plaintiff via USPS) (Entered: 09/20/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#3) REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re #1 MOTION for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis filed by Haythem Chihi. The Court recommends the motion to proceed IFP (Dkt. #1 ) be DENIED. Objections to this Report and Recommendation, if any, should be filed with the Clerk and served upon all parties to this suit within fourteen (14) of the date on which this Report and Recommendation is signed. If no timely objections are filed, the matter will be ready for consideration by the District Judge on 9/17/2021. Signed by Hon. S. Kate Vaughan. (Attachments: #1 Proposed Order) (LH) (cc: Plaintiff via US mail) (Entered: 09/01/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#2) Notice of Filing Deficiency re #1 MOTION for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis. ***Action Required*** Copyright/Patent/Trademark Forms Omitted.See attached letter for more information and instructions. (cc: plaintiff w/Trademark form via USPS) (ST) (Entered: 08/27/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less
Docket(#1) MOTION for Leave to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, filed by Haythem Chihi. (Attachments: #1 Complaint, #2 Civil Cover Sheet, #3 Email from Filer re Initiating Documents, #4 Email from Filer re Address)(ST) (Entered: 08/27/2021)[+] Read More [-] Read Less