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Disclaimer of Affiliation Placing a disclaimer of affiliation with a trademark owner on a Web site does not remedy the initial interest confusion caused by use of that owner's trademark in the domain name for that Web site, according to a recent decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. [Paccar Inc. v. Telescan Techs., L.L.C., 319 F. 3d 243 (6th Cir. 2003).] Consumers read that disclaimer only after they reach the Web site, and thus, it "comes too late." Accordingly, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an injunction prohibiting the domain name use.
Paccar Inc. has manufactured trucks and truck parts under the Peterbilt and Kenworth trademarks (among others) for more than 60 years. Paccar also administers a used truck locator service on its Web site, www.paccar.com, which allows users to search, by fields, a database of used Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks available from dealers. Paccar registered numerous versions of those marks with the US Patent and Trademark Office and invested substantial amounts of money advertising them.
TeleScan competes with Paccar in the operation of truck locator Web sites. A consumer can search one TeleScan database by dealer, another by linking to manufacturer-specific Web sites including www.peterbiltnewtrucks.com, www.peterbiltusedtrucks.com, www.kenworthnewtrucks.com, and …