Bank of America has won a court judgement against a cyber-squatter who snapped up the domain names "bofaml.com" and "mlbofa.com" in 2008 in a bid to cash in on the bank's merger with Merrill Lynch.
According to Reuters, J Taikwok Yung, using his business Webadviso, registered the names through GoDaddy.com on the day that news of the Merrill takeover broke in September 2008.
US District Judge Denny Chin has barred Yung from using the addresses, finding that he registered them in bad faith, hoping to cash in on the merger by selling them to BofA. The judge cited an e-mail from Yung claiming the "bofaml.com" name could earn him "near 7 figures".
Chin's judgement agreed with the findings of a National Arbitration Forum panel last year that the domains were confusingly similar to Bank of America's "B of A" trademark and that Webadviso had no legitimate interest in them.
Yung - who is appealing the verdict - was not the only cyber-squatter who moved to capitalise on the rush of emergency mergers on Wall Street in 2008, with barclayslehman.com and jpmbearstearns.com both snapped up by opportunists.
Banks have not always been successful in battles over domain names. Last year Goldman Sachs capitulated in its legal fight with fierce online critic, blogger Mike Morgan, over his use of the domain name goldmansachs666.com.
Goldman had better luck in 2006, winning a case against a Netherlands man who operated an adult service Web site called goldmansex.com, successfully arguing that the domain name of the site could be confused with its own.
BofA wins judgment over cybersquatter on Web names - Reuters