(Ping! Zine Web Hosting Magazine) – A federal court ruled last week that SEO and web hosting provider, Bright Builders Inc. is liable for $770,050 in damages caused by a customer’s website.
South Carolina District Judge Margaret Seymour concluded that the firm was guilty of contributory trademark infringement for providing web hosting services to a counterfeit golf club maker. While Bright Builders was hit up for over three-quarters of a million dollars, their client CopyCatClubs.com only received a fine of $28,250.
According to ZippyCart.com, golf club manufacturer, Cleveland Golf first filed the lawsuit against the counterfeit website back in 2009 claiming infringement of 11 trademarks. Soon afterward, Bright Builders was brought into the lawsuit as it was accused of creating the website’s ecommerce solution, knowing that the website was selling counterfeit goods.
After the judgment was made, Cleveland Golf’s lawyer, Christopher Finnerty warned internet and SEO providers that “SEO’s cannot rely solely on third parties to police their web sties and provide actual notice of counterfeit sales from the brand owners.”
The case makes history as it marks the first time an internet service provider has been found liable for contributory infringement without first being alerted about their customer’s misbehavior.