In the “very interesting” news category, Summit Entertainment LLC, the film studio that makes the “Twilight” series of films, has sued the owner of Twilight.com for trademark infringement. According to the complaint, Twlight.com (which was registered before the Twilight books were even created) is infringing on the Twilight films TM, by falsely leading the public into believing the site is associated with the films.
The lawsuit claims that a cease and desist letter was sent in April of 2009, and the owner Tom Markeson of San Mateo, California responded that he was not infringing on the Trademarks of Summit.
This is an interesting case because the site is only a very basic site with links to a variety of things being sold on Amazon.com. Nothing on the site itself suggests that its associated with the site, nor is anything being sold except authorized Twilight books and CDs, and one link to Twilight Zone products.
This is a very interesting case, because the products being sold include products from Summit Entertainment, which in theory allows them to be sold via Amazon.com and their affiliate program.
Again nothing on the website refers to it being associated with the Twilight movies, except those links to products.
Questions I would ask is what is the difference between this and any fan website that might talk about a product and have links? What about a search with affiliate links.
My personal opinion is that this is a junk lawsuit: that there is no infringement here. This is obvious fair use, and the owner is just using a domain that he had before to get the traffic from people who enter twilight.com and then he provides links to the authorized products of Twilight.
The studio is a huge corporation with the ability to bring this frivolous lawsuit, hoping that in return for dropping they can get this lucrative domain.
I do think this is also an important case, because what is to prevent anyone from suing another affiliate marketer who is talking about products, or is a fan of a product with links to affiliate products on Amazon?