Ticketmaster Corp. v. DeVane, 7:07-CV-196-F, 2008 WL 2073914 (E.D.N.C., May 14, 2008).
After finding that defendant Daniel DeVane was liable to plaintiff TicketMaster for cybersquatting under 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1125(d), the Court barred him from maintaining his registration of the domain name ticketmasterevents.com and from "using any names, words, designations or symbols consisting of, incorporating in whole or part, or otherwise similar to the TICKETMASTER mark or any other Ticketmaster trademark in any buried code, metatags, search terms, keywords, key terms, hits generating pages, or any other devices used, intended, or likely to cause any web site or web sites of DeVane to be listed by any Internet search engines in response to any searches that include any terms identical with or confusingly similar to the TICKETMASTER mark or any other Ticketmaster trademarks."
That means DeVane can't make statements on his website like "Better than TicketMaster", as webpages containing such statements could be listed in response to Google searches for "TicketMaster". A page containing that particular statement is even more likely to be prominently listed in response to Google searches for "Better than TicketMaster", yet the injunction prohibits DeVane from making that statement even though TicketMaster has no reasonable interest in preventing DeVane's website from appearing in search results generated by Internet users who are clearly looking for an alternative to TicketMaster.
As another example of how far-reaching the injunction is, consider the website to which DeVane's website appears to send visitors via an affiliate program: www.soldouttickets.com. As of this writing, it contains the following disclaimer:
We are a privately owned ticket agency and in no way affiliated with ticketmaster, ticketron, or any box office. We sell tickets to otherwise "sold out" concerts and sports events and premium tickets to other popular events.As the injunction applies not only to DeVane but also to "his agents ... and all others in active concert or participation with him," one might argue that it prohibits mention of TicketMaster in the disclaimer, which is a somewhat odd result, given that courts often require trademark infringers to issue disclaimers or corrective advertising.
DeVane did not argue for a narrower injunction that would have allowed use of such comparative or disclaiming language, but attorneys defending clients in similar situations ought to consider doing so.