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01|14|2013 12:12 pm EDT

And here is the court order that stopped the deletion of publication.com

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registries

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In the case of the non-deletion of publication.com last Friday, DNN has now obtained a copy of the court order that prevented the deletion and you can see it here (PDF). Please note that this is the unsigned version of the restraining order as it was currently published by the court, but DNN does have a copy of the signed version as well. The order was enacted by Hon. Stanley R. Chesler, the United States District Judge for New Jersey at 10:30am EST the day of the deletion.

As background information, there are some additional documents showing an email exchange on the evening preceding the scheduled deletion between the registrant of the domain, Blake Ellman and James Hubler, Senior Corporate Counsel at Verisign. In the emails Hubler agrees to stop the deletion of the domain if a court order meeting the following conditions is received before 11am on the day of the deletion:

  1. Because of jurisdiction considerations, a federal court order is required.
  2. The order should direct Verisign as a non-party to the suit to remove the subject domain name from pending delete status.

We were not able to locate any other suit as referred to in the exchange. Since the deletion of the name was stopped, Verisign did accept the order of the District Court.

The complaint also includes some background information that states that the domain in question was deleted due to an “inadvertent mistake of ‘Dotster/domain.com’“. DNN has reached out to the other involved parties for comment.

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02|24|2009 10:48 am EDT

Sedo buys Revenue Direct from Dotster

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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SedoSedo announced this morning that they purchased parking company RevenueDirect from registrar Dotster and expanded their partnership with the registrar.

From the Sedo Press Release: The acquisition of RevenueDirect’s substantial customer base significantly increases Sedo’s North American market share. In addition to the acquisition, Sedo has formed a strategic long-term partnership with registrar heavyweight and former RevenueDirect parent company, Dotster. Through the strategic partnership, Sedo will benefit from the company’s large inventory and strong registrar presence, while RevenueDirect customers will gain considerable value from Sedo’s superior monetization engines and access to the world’s largest secondary market for buying and selling domain names.

From Dotster’s Press Release:  Demonstrating this continued Internet services investment, Dotster has recently acquired two companies, EmailBrain® and FortuneCity.com®, to expand its online marketing and hosting offerings. Also introduced in 2008, Dotster Connect is an online community platform. The product provides a complete suite of social networking and media sharing capabilities such as blogs, forums, video, real-time collaboration and more. Users of all sizes can achieve improved results with Web 2.0-enabled customer websites and intranets.

Traditionally Sedo has it’s strongest market presence in the European market and this acquisition will help strengthen Sedo’s position. Also the additional traffic can help Sedo negotiate better revenue share deals with it’s partners in the future.

[Sedo Press Release, Dotster Press Release, TechCrunch, Domain Name Wire]

12|20|2008 12:58 am EDT

Vulcan vs Google Case – Plaintiffs Denied Class Certification

by Adam Strong in Categories: Legal Issues

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In a case that is well over a year old, Vulcan Golf and other plaintiffs in the “Vulcan vs Google” case where handed a set back this week as the court denied their class certification.  The court’s decision can be found at this link on Docutek (pdf).  DNN caught wind of this news through Eric Goldman’s blog where he provides a summary of the the court’s decision and it’s implications.

” The court rejects class certification for the trademark infringement and Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act claims because the individual questions of fact predominate over the common questions of law.” (more…)

04|15|2008 12:29 pm EDT

Vulcan Case Moves Forward

by Adam Strong in Categories: Miscellaneous

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The Vulcan Golf vs Google et al (including IREIT, Dotster, Sedo and Oversee) case has been green-lighted by the court to move forward. However the court has ruled in favor of the defendants to dismiss some of the other charges including the conspiracy, consumer fraud and RICO charges

The court has made a ruling that will potentially have a great impact on all domain name owners, parking companies and search engines. According to the judges ruling :

It is plausible that the [plaintiffs’] allegations fall under the ACPA prohibition of “trafficking in,” which is defined by the ACPA as engaging in ‘transactions that include, but are not limited to, sales, purchases, loans, pledges, licenses, exchanges of currency, and any other transfer for consideration or receipt in exchange for consideration.” 15 USC(d)(1)(E)

This means that the Anit-Cybersquatting Protection Act is being interpreted to apply not only to those who own the domain names and engage in cybersquatting but also anyone that would be profiting (trafficking) from the domains. The case is proceeding because the court was not compelled by the defense arguments that their processes were automated and that their involvement in the alleged cybersquatting was minimal.

“Google pays registrants for its use of the purportedly deceptive domain names, provides domain performance reporting, participates in the tasting of domain names, uses semantics technology to analyze the meaning of domain names and select revenue maximizing advertisements and controls and maintains that advertising.”

Sarah Bird has written a great analysis of the case at SEOMoz and discusses what’s next and what the case could mean to domainers and the domain monetization business.It’s well worth the read.

The bottom line: You don’t have to own or register the domain to have potential liability for cybersquatting under ACPA. As far as I know, this is the first case to make such a ruling. In every other ACPA case that I know of, the defendant owned or registered the domain, usually in addition to trafficking in it.

Sarah’s most important point is that the plaintiffs in this case have “an uphill battle” and a “long way to go” in proving that Google and the parking companies acted in bad faith and knowingly were infringing on the trademarks. This case will surely change the strategies and monetization of domain names at search engines, especially when pertaining to potentially infringing domains, but it will also radically redefine what the scope of cybersquatting.