Green Jacket Auctions has filed a lawsuit against Augusta National Golf Club over the rights to its business name.
Green Jacket, which has conducted about 30 online golf memorabilia auctions since its founding in 2006, faces the loss of its internet domain following a December decision by a panel of the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Policy.
Last year, Augusta National had sued the auction company for trademark infringement and dilution and for the proposed sale of three Masters green jackets, presented annually to the winter of the tournament. Augusta says it owns the jackets, including one presented to Byron Nelson in 1966. A judge put a temporary halt to the sale of those items but a final decision hasn’t been made.
Green Jacket’s court filing says Augusta National didn’t have a trademark on the phrase “green jacket” or anything similar when it bought the domain name “Green Jacket Auctions” in 2006. They say collectors are sophisticated enough to know the difference between two entities and that it would “suffer severe prejudice if it was ordered to transfer the Domain Name to Augusta National.”
Green Jacket Auctions is and operated by collectors Ryan Carey and Bob Zafian. They’re asking the federal court to declare Augusta has no trademark rights to the phrase “green jacket”, has no legal right to the domain name and they’re asking for monetary damages over the golf club’s lawsuit.