Cybersquatting is difficult to punish as companies must struggle to track down shady entities who register dozens or even hundreds of misleading domains. CNET reports that Pinterest has caught a big break, receiving $7.2 million in damages related to a single cybersquatter — one responsible for 100 websites, including “Pimterest.com”.
The ruling comes a year after Pinterest sued cybersquatter Qian Jin, accusing the China-based defendant of trademark infringement and cyberpiracy for registering variations and misspellings of the Pinterest name. The company also accused Jin of attempts to file trademark paperwork in China for Pinterest, and targeting the company’s name through top-level domain acquisitions (including pinterest.tv and pinterest.es).
The judge at the U.S. District Court in San Francisco not only awarded damages to Pinterest, but also required Qian to give the startup ownership over his domain cache and banned him from registering any more misleading websites. Jin, however, has ignored all of the proceedings of the lawsuit, so it’s unclear exactly when the company will be able to collect its award.