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02|17|2009 11:04 am EDT

Verizon Serves Up Registrar and More Domainers in Two Cybersquatting Cases

by Adam Strong in Categories: Legal Issues

Verizon recently filed two cases against domain owners claiming trademark infringement. The first case was filed in California federal court(PDF).  The second case was was filed recently in a Virginia federal court (PDF).

DNN was tipped off that Verizon had started the California case in an unusual way. Verizon apparently used the recent DomainFest show to track down and serve several defendants at the same time. We were also informed that at a recent intellectual property conference a prominent intellectual property attorney involved in the Verizon cases discussed how the domainers had been served. A domain conference would likely seem like “shooting fish in a barrel” to an intellectual property attorney.

Defendants named in the case include domain name registrar Lead Networks, Naresh Malik, Mahesh Malik, domainer Kevin Daste, VAERIZON.COM and 100 “John Does”.  According to the filing some of the defendants named in the case appear to be based outside of U.S. but in each case it is pointed out that the entities conduct business in the jurisdictions.

By engaging in activities including registering and/or cooperating in the use or
registration of the Defendant Domain Names, which have been registered through the .com and .net registries operated by VeriSign, Inc., which is domiciled in Virginia, each of the Defendant Persons has purposely availed him/her/itself of the benefits of doing business in Virginia by actually transacting business in this Commonwealth.

These cases bring another domain name registrar, Lead Networks, into a federal court on cybersquatting charges. In a previous ruling in California Federal Court, Verizon won a judgment of $33 million dollars in an uncontested case against domain registrar OnlineNic. The judgment equated to roughly $50,000 per domain infringement.  According to RegistrarStats.com, Indian registrar Lead Networks manages over 120,000 domains. If these stats are correct, the registrar also recently released 600 domain names  around the same time period that this case was filed.

It’s highly likely that more on this case will be forthcoming.

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4 Comments

TheTruthHurts

February 17, 2009 @ 8:52 pm EDT

Good on Verizon.

Thats the thing domainers, step into the real world were real people have real businesses and don’t like to be messed around by pimpled nosed wannabes.

Raj

February 18, 2009 @ 3:26 am EDT

All this hypocrisy about TM domains. Nearly every domainer has TM domains, incl. the person who has written this article.

Can he come clean that and state that he has never bought/sold/monetized any TM domains for himself or for others?

Nick M

February 18, 2009 @ 9:52 am EDT

So true Raj.

I don’t know of many domainers who hold truly generic domains.

Andrew

February 18, 2009 @ 11:02 am EDT

@ Raj – what’s hypocritical about the writer of this article? I don’t see any opinions in this article; it’s just reporting the facts of the case.

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