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Trump awarded damages in 'cybersquatting' case over domain names

By Haley Draznin, CNN
March 2, 2014 -- Updated 1647 GMT (0047 HKT)
Donald Trump was seeking $100,000 for each of the four domain names, the maximum damages allowed.
Donald Trump was seeking $100,000 for each of the four domain names, the maximum damages allowed.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Brooklyn man must pay Donald Trump $32,000 damages, a judge ruled Friday
  • J. Taikwok Yung parodied and critiqued Trump and his TV shows on four websites
  • Websites, launched in 2007, had domain names suggestive of new Trump ventures
  • Trump filed suit in 2013 seeking damages for "federal cybersquatting"

New York (CNN) -- A Brooklyn man who registered domain names related to real estate mogul Donald Trump must pay $32,000 damages, a judge ruled Friday.

J. Taikwok Yung, a self-described "domainer" developed four websites -- trumpmumbai.com, trumpindia.com, trumpbeijing.com, and trumpbudhabi.com -- parodying the well-known businessman and providing commentary, often disparaging, on Trump and his television shows "The Apprentice" and "The Celebrity Apprentice."

Attorneys representing Trump filed a countersuit against Yung, 34, at the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn in March 2013, seeking damages for "federal cybersquatting."

That's defined by the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act as "the registration as domain names of well-known trademarks by non-trademark holders who then try to sell the names back to the trademark owners."

Trump was seeking the maximum damages allowable -- $100,000 for each of the four Trump-related domain names.

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Attorney James Weinberger told CNN the ruling "should serve as a deterrent to Mr. Yung or anyone else who thinks they can register names that include Trump's trademark and name and use them for commercial purposes."

Trump is a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Organization and the name is associated with high-profile business ventures.

The four websites were developed in 2007, the same year the Trump organization announced plans to build Trump-branded hotels and condominiums in Mumbai and Bangalore, India.

The Trump Organization demanded that Yung hand over the websites. In 2011, Yung filed a complaint seeking to keep the domain names, citing fair use and First Amendment rights.

In 2010, Yung rejected $100 per domain that Trump's lawyers offered him.

Efforts to contact Yung for comment were unsuccessful.

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