US June Court Decision Detrimental to Domaining Practices

Posted in: Domain Names at 06/08/2008 08:43

In a June court ruling, domainer Navigation Catalyst and registrar Basic Fusion lost a cybersquatting lawsuit to Verizon. This is an extremely interesting and potentially precedent-setting case regarding domaining and domain name tasting writes Eric Goldman. The court condemned both practices, leading to a preliminary injunction against the domainer and its registrar based on the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). It is also the first time Goldman is aware of a domainer losing an ACPA lawsuit.

The case may lead to damages being paid to Verizon and may force domainers to change their practices. Goldman outlines the practices Navigation Catalyst engaged in some common domainer practices and kept 126 domains Verizon alleged infringe its trademark. "Navigation Catalyst also tasted nearly 1300 other challenged domains, and as the court points out, made some money from those domains during the tasting period."

Navigation Catalyst claimed it "merely reserved the domains during the tasting period instead of 'registering' them ... because they hadn't paid for the domains," a claim, among others, that didn't impress the court. "While this is a big loss for the domainer, it's a shocking ruling against the registrar."

"There is absolutely no good news for [the domaining industry] in this ruling. This court rejected the standard risk-management that domainers claim protect them from cybersquatting liability."

To read this article by Eric Goldman in full, see www.circleid.com/posts/88214_court_decision_detrimental_to_domaining/.

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