Judge Tosses Suit Against Pranksters Who Issued Fake Press Release
Posted May 10, 2011 7:26 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge has tossed a cybersquatting suit filed by Koch Industries against pranksters who issued a fake online press release claiming the company had changed its stance on global warming.
The press release, posted on a Web address similar to the one used by Koch Industries, had claimed the conservative-leaning company was cutting off its support for groups opposing global-warming claims.
Kimball barred Koch Industries from disclosing the names of the pranksters that had been revealed in earlier subpoenas, the Salt Lake Tribune reports. He dismissed all of the company’s causes of action, including claims for trademark infringement, cybersquatting and unfair competition.
Public Citizen defended the pranksters, part of a group called Youth for Climate Change. “This important precedent will prevent future lawsuits aimed at stifling political speech,” Public Citizen said on its website.