A federal judge has ordered California to conduct a trademark search on the website of a popular social media network that used to be popular among gamers.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Caro comes after the Justice Department sued the website on July 12, alleging that the site’s domain name registration violated the California Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
It also said that a Google search of the website resulted in the discovery of links to a game titled “Massively Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Online” that was a parody of the popular MMO “World of Warcraft.”
Carreo ruled that the domain registration was “necessary” to enforce the federal trademark law.
The judge said in his order that Google should have registered the domain name as a registered trademark because it is not in the public domain.
Caro said the case is before the U.N. Intellectual Property Office and that it will be heard by a U.K.-based appeals court on Aug. 7.
California, a large U.E. state with about half the U of A population, has been grappling with the fallout of the widespread use of social media by gamers.
The issue is also a subject of much attention in the U., as many people on the social network and elsewhere are upset that some games are not available in the state.
The California attorney general’s office had argued that the registration of the domain was not necessary because the website is in the domain names of companies that offer services for gamers.
But the appeals court disagreed, finding that it was not possible to obtain a valid trademark registration for the website without infringing on a person’s right to free speech.
The company behind the popular website, Massively MultiplayerOnlineBattleArenaOnline, has said it will appeal the ruling.
In a statement, the company said it was disappointed by the court’s ruling and the fact that the case will be litigated before the international appeals court.
“The fact that this case will go to the U-turn court is a significant setback for the UEA and we remain confident that the UEEPA will rule in our favor,” the company wrote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.