TORONTO (Reuters) - Toronto Raptors’ forward Chris Bosh won control of nearly 800 Internet domain names wrongfully appropriated from professional athletes and celebrities, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
The ruling, which Bosh’s lawyer said is the first time a court awarded third-party domain names to a plaintiff, gives the basketball player control of www.chrisbosh.com and website names that incorporated names of other NBA stars, including Denver’s Carmelo Anthony and Phoenix’s Steve Nash.
But Bosh, a four-time National Basketball Association all-star and Olympic gold medalist, has no plans to retain the domain names.
“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,” Bosh said in a statement. “I will offer the return of the domain names free of charge.”
The domain names were awarded to Bosh in a U.S. federal court in California on September 24 but the announcement was delayed until all the domain names involved were secured, the lawyer said.
The ruling came against Hoopology.com, which displayed ads using Bosh’s name to generate revenue without having any association with the star. Other domains included entertainers and product names.
“This is the first time a plaintiff has convinced the court to award third-party domain names directly to the plaintiff,” Bosh’s lawyer Brian Heidelberger told Reuters.
“Chris has these domain names only for the sole purposes of giving them back for free, without obligation, to their rightful owners.”
Editing by Rob Wilson