NBA baller Chris Bosh is being hailed as a “cyber-hero” after gaining custody of nearly 800 domain names wrongfully appropriated from professional athletes and celebrities.
“I am thrilled that I am able to offer the return of these domain names to a host of other athletes and celebrities whose names were cybersquatted,” said Bosh, a four-time NBA All-Star, and Olympic gold medalist. “I will offer the return of the domain names free of charge, but I’d also love the opportunity to show their owners how Max Deal can help.”
Judge Florence-Marie Cooper awarded the domain names to Bosh on Monday, following an award of $120,000 in April, after ruling that Bosh’s rights under the Federal Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act had been violated by Luis Zavala and his company Hoopology.com, who had registered the domain “chrisbosh.com.”
Hoopology.com originally displayed ads using Bosh’s name to generate revenue for Zavala and Hoopology.com, but had no actual association to Bosh. Zavala also owned and used nearly 800 other domains which incorporated the names of various professional athletes, college and high school athletes as well as well-known entertainers, product names and other entertainment properties, for the same purposes.
Bosh’s law firm, Winston & Strawn, convinced the court to award Bosh each of the nearly 800 domains owned by Zavala and Hoopology.com. The list contains the names of famous athletes and entertainers, including Olympic gold medalists, the NBA’s Deron Williams and Tayshaun Prince, NBA All-Stars Rashard Lewis, Danny Granger and Maurice Williams, the NBA’s Charlie Villanueva, Hedo Turkoglu, Andre Iguodala and Andrea Bargnani, as well as the president and general manager and 11 current and former players for Bosh’s own team. For the full list of domain names see http://www.winston.com/siteFiles/Domain_Name_List.pdf.
“From my perspective, Chris is a cyber-hero,” said Brian Heidelberger, the Winston & Strawn partner who represented Bosh in this matter, along with Winston & Strawn associates Marc Trachtenberg and Mark L. Smith.