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Gopets Ltd. v. Edward Hise

September 10, 2012

GOPETS LTD.
v.
EDWARD HISE, ET AL.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable A. Howard Matz, U.S. District Judge

O

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

Present: The Honorable A. HOWARD MATZ, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

Stephen Montes Not Reported

Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No. Attorneys NOT Present for Plaintiffs: Attorneys NOT Present for Defendants:

Proceedings: IN CHAMBERS (No Proceedings Held)

Plaintiff GoPets Ltd. has moved for $56,859.20 attorneys' fees.*fn1 For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that Plaintiff is entitled to $40,335.00 in attorneys' fees.

INTRODUCTION

In March 2007, Plaintiff GoPets Ltd. filed suit against Defendants Edward Hise, Joseph Hise, and Digital Overture Inc. Plaintiff's claims centered around Defendants' use and registration of the domain name and website "gopets.com." As relevant here, Plaintiff's complaint alleged cybersquatting under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA"), service mark infringement under the Lanham Act, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act. Subsequently, Plaintiff amended its complaint to allege similar claims for eighteen additional domain names.

On June 10, 2008, the Court granted Plaintiff partial summary judgment. (Dkt 204.) The Court held that (1) Defendants had violated the ACPA by registering gopets.com, (2) Defendants had violated the ACPA by registering the additional eighteen domain names, (3) Plaintiff had demonstrated a valid and protectable "GOPETS" mark, and (4) Defendants were liable for service mark infringement and unfair competition based on their use of the GOPETS mark on gopets.com. The Court awarded Plaintiff a total of $118,000 in statutory damages. Of this amount, $100,000 was for the ACPA claim related to gopets.com. The remaining $18,000 was comprised of $1,000 in damages for each of the additional eighteen domains. The Court also ordered Defendants to transfer gopets.com and the additional domains to Plaintiff. Although Plaintiff had prevailed on its service mark and unfair competition claims, the Court did not award any additional relief based on these claims. Finally, the Court awarded Plaintiff $76,260 in attorneys' fees.

Defendants appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which reversed this Court on one issue. GoPets Ltd. v. Hise, 657 F.3d 1024 (9th Cir. 2011). The appellate court held that Defendants did not violate the ACPA with respect to gopets.com. Id. at 1030--32. In addition, because the award of attorneys' fees was based in part on Defendants' registration of gopets.com, the court vacated the fee award. Id. at 1035. In all other respects, the Ninth Circuit affirmed this Court. The appellate court subsequently remanded the case to allow this Court to consider whether Plaintiff is entitled to additional relief under the Lanham Act and to reconsider the award of attorneys' fees. Id.

After the case was remanded, Plaintiff informed the Court that it was not interested in pursuing any additional relief under the Lanham Act. (Dkt. 291.) The only question that remains, therefore, is whether Plaintiff is entitled to attorneys' fees.

Plaintiff has moved for $56,859.20 in attorneys' fees. Of this total amount, $51,094.20 represents Plaintiff's requested fees for the claims it prevailed on. The remaining $5,765.00 represents Plaintiff's requested fees for the ...


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