ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – A federal court jury found in favor of YachtBroker.com on its defamation lawsuit against YachtWorld.com and awarded compensatory and punitive damages against boats.com, YachtWorld.com’s parent company, YachtBroker.com reported in a statement today.
Nautical Solutions Marketing, Inc. d/b/a YachtBroker.com said it filed its lawsuit on April 26, 2002 after YachtWorld.com published statements accusing YachtBroker.com of trespassing on the YachtWorld.com Web site.
Among the issues in the lawsuit were two YachtBroker.com innovations, the company said. The first, YachtBroker.com’s search engine called BoatRover, expedites online searches for yachts by enabling yacht brokers and their guests to search for yachts from the YachtBroker.com Web site that are listed on public Web sites across the Internet.
The second, YachtBroker.com’s Valet Service, simplified the process of listing yachts on multiple Web sites on the Internet, saving time and money for the listing broker, according to YachtBroker.com.
YachtBroker argued that YachtWorld defamed YachtBroker.com by publishing false statements that YachtBroker.com’s innovations and activities were illegal. In defending its technologies, YachtBroker.com said it presented evidence that yacht listings belong to the listing yacht brokers and not to YachtWorld.
Responding to the verdict, Mark J. Horne, president of YachtBroker.com, stated, “This verdict is not only a win for us, as we attempt to reestablish our good name, but is also a win for yacht brokers everywhere, who often must contend with online service providers which claim increasingly broader rights in the brokers listings.”
YachtWorld’s parent company, boats.com Inc., is not commenting on the lawsuit at this time as the judge still has rulings to make on the other aspects of the case, said Paul Rabe, president, CEO and co-founder of boats.com.
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