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Minnesota abortion foe must shutter Web sites

By The Associated Press

07.24.02

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MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has ordered a South St. Paul man to shut down his anti-abortion Web sites with domain names that are confusingly similar to the trademarked names of some of the nation's most famous companies.

U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery issued a temporary restraining order yesterday against William S. Purdy Sr. on behalf of McDonald's Corp., PepsiCo Inc., Coca-Cola Co., The Washington Post Co. and Washingtonpost.newsweekInteractive Co.

She ordered Purdy to immediately shut down his Web sites with the confusing names and transfer their ownership to the appropriate companies.

Montgomery also ordered Purdy not to create any more Web sites with names similar to trademarked names owned by the companies and that do not alert Internet users to nature of the Web site's content within the domain name.

Purdy said yesterday that he would appeal the injunction. He also said he is buying addresses such as bloodycoca-cola.com or pepsideathmills.com to continue his anti-abortion protest.

Patrick Carome, an attorney for the companies, explained the situation to the court in a hearing on July 22. He said mywashingtonpost.com belongs to The Washington Post. Purdy, whom Carome called a "cybersquatter," has my-washingtonpost.com.

Most of the sites, which divert traffic to anti-abortion Web sites, were set up July 4. The sites contain disclaimers and graphic images of aborted fetuses.

Purdy, who represented himself, argued that the companies don't like what he has to say and that the issue is one of free speech.

He also said in court on July 22 that he opposes the Post's abortion-rights editorial position and Coke's contributions to Planned Parenthood. He said it was impossible to criticize a company without using its name.

Carome said the disclaimers don't change anything: "You can't cure infringement by using a disclaimer."

Update

Federal judge finds man in contempt in cybersquatting case
Minnesota abortion foe says he'd rather go to jail than give up Web site addresses derived from well-known trademarks such as The Washington Post, McDonald's.  01.25.03

Previous

Abortion foe sued in cybersquatting dispute
News, food companies accuse Minnesota man of violating trademarks by using domain names similar to theirs to redirect people to anti-abortion Web sites.  07.19.02

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