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Monte Cahn settles lawsuit against

August 21, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, jeff kupietzky, lawsuit, Moniker, monte cahn,, Policy & LawComments Off on Monte Cahn settles lawsuit against

Long legal battle between Moniker founder and is over. founder Monte Cahn has dismissed his lawsuit against regarding money he said he was owed under a bonus plan.

Cahn joined after Seevast sold Moniker to Cahn left Oversee at the end of 2010. In May 2011 he filed a lawsuit against the company arguing he was due part of a $13 million bonus plan.

Having read many of the documents and examinations filed with the court, I can say this was a particularly unsettling legal battle for both parties. There was certainly ill-will between Cahn and some of’s former staff.

Yet a lot has changed since the lawsuit was filed. CEO Jeff Kupietzky left the company in August 2011, and sold Moniker earlier this year.

387 documents were filed since the case was initiated. There was already an initial trial on one issue, which the judge ruled in favor of

Here’s the statement of dismissal:

Pursuant to a settlement agreement between the parties and Rule 41(a)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiff Monte Cahn and Defendants, Jeffrey Kupietzky, and Lawrence Ng, through their respective undersigned counsel of record, hereby stipulate to the voluntary dismissal of this Action in its entirety against all defendants with prejudice. Each party shall bear its own attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses.

Details of the settlement were not disclosed. I’ve reached out to both sides for comment.

© 2012. This is copyrighted content. Do not republish.

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Guy mad about CentralNic domains sues ICANN and Network Solutions

August 3, 2012centralnic, Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, lawsuit, Policy & Law, VeriSignComments Off on Guy mad about CentralNic domains sues ICANN and Network Solutions

Fun Friday reading.

I read a lot of lawsuits involving domain name companies. Occasionally I come across a “pro se” suit, in which the plaintiff doesn’t have legal representation.

Nine times out of ten these pro se cases I read involve a plantiff who’s a bit crazy. Like the “nude artist” who’s mad at NameMedia about a domain name.

Here’s another one (pdf), just filed in United States District Court against CentralNic, Network Solutions, VeriSign, ICANN, eNom, and the registrant of a third level .com domain.

The case was filed by Graham Schreiber, the owner of It’s a doozy, complete with a cover letter, colored fonts, all sorts of {brackets}, ~ symbols, and way to many commas per sentence.

Basically, Schreiber is mad that a company in the United Kingdom registered domains are actually third level domain names offered by CentralNic.

The owner of, Lorraine Dunabin, also owns

Back in 2011 Schreiber filed a Nominet dispute over He subsequently withdrew the complaint because he thought Nominet could actually handle disputes. For some reason Schreiber is more concerned with than, because he thinks it creates more confusion with his .com. He later refiled the Nominet case and lost.

He could just file a WIPO complaint over the CentralNic domain name, but he has some hard-to-decipher beef with WIPO about them not providing him with enough statistics.

He’s peeved at ICANN for not responding to his complaints other than with “form letters”.

He’s mad at Network Solutions for two reasons. First, they are the registrar for CentralNic’s domain name. Second, he put so much faith in Network Solutions that he felt compelled to register a bunch of other CentralNic domains there to protect his brand.

> Network Solutions, based on their significant history, within the Internet, give credibility to the products they sell. As such, their selling the “diluted” ~ “.com’s” of CentralNic, compelled me to buy many of the outstanding domains, as I’ve been a client of theirs since the beginning, I felt obliged to purchase the remaining “dilutive” .com ~ name spaces, so that no other individuals, such as Lorraine, would create problems for my business.

> Now, with a greater understanding of CentralNIC; and reading/understanding their Terms and Condition, at a deeper level > (link to terms) “11. Domain names are registered on a first come, first served basis.” < it become quite clear that there is a GENTLE SHAKEDOWN happening; and that I must therefore buy again my business name, with the left side of the .com, or risk dilution...

Just imagine how this guy will feel when he finds out that anyone can create a third level domain “landcruise.” under their second level .com domain!

Schreiber wants the damages awarded from this suit to go to his rotary club.

As silly as the suit is, Schreiber does have a point: I think a lot of consumers are confused about just what CentralNic third level domain names are.

© 2011.

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Owners of and duke it out in court

July 12,, Domaining, Domainnamewire,, lawsuit, Policy & Law, trademarkComments Off on Owners of and duke it out in court says owner of is cybersquatting.

The registrants of and are embroiled in a court battle, with the latter saying that infringes its trademarks.

The owner of is seafood wholesaler Seafood Supply Company of Dallas, Texas. is an online retailer offering upscale home decor, jewelry, and real estate.

In a lawsuit (pdf) filed in New York late last month, said it first informed Seafood Supply that it was infringing on its mark back in 2008. also claimed that Seafood Supply didn’t register the domain until 2004, four years after began using its “1stDibs” mark in commerce.

But in its own lawsuit (pdf) over the matter (for declaratory judgment), just filed in Texas, Seafood Supply says it registered the domain name in 1997, which was before was registered.

Historical whois records from DomainTools seem to verify Seafood Supply’s claim, although the domain has bounced around and apparently expired at some point. The oldest historical record from 2001 shows “CLARK HOUSE INC” as the registrant, although the contact is with Seafood Supply Company. That record shows a 1997 creation date. The domain is then transferred to someone in New York for a few years before landing back under Seafood Supply’s control in 2004 with a 2004 record creation date.

So why now, in 2012, is following up on its 2008 demands with a lawsuit?

According to, Seafood Supply changed to a parked domain earlier this year. It has since forwarded the domain to its Seafood web site.

Here’s my opinion based solely on the two lawsuits filings and historical whois information:

* had no reason to complain back in 2008. and are two completely different domains owned by businesses in two different industries. And, was originally registered prior to Also, 2008 was pretty late to claim infringement.

* The only rationale for filing a lawsuit now is that the domain was allegedly parked earlier this year and showed ads related to’s business. First, it’s unclear if Seafood Supply parked the domain or if its registrar did. There’s a good chance it was the registrar. Second, would a very short period of parking mean a domain name registered in 1997 should be transferred to a business that obviously settled on because was taken?

© 2011.

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Why BuyDomains’ lawsuit over makes sense

May 7, 2012buydomains, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, NameMedia, Policy & Law, udrpComments Off on Why BuyDomains’ lawsuit over makes sense

Lawsuit over is about more than just a single domain name.

In April I wrote about how a WIPO panel “stole” from BuyDomains (NameMedia) in a faulty UDRP decision. I also mentioned that I hoped BuyDomains would turn to the courts to over the issue.

On Friday George Kirikos noticed that the company did indeed turn to the courts, filing a lawsuit in Massachusetts. The suit is fairly bread-and-butter for declaratory and injunctive relief.

NameMedia doesn’t always challenge adverse UDRP decisions in court. But filing this suit was a smart move. Here’s why.

It can keep the domain

This one is kind of obvious. By filing the lawsuit the UDRP will be stayed and NameMedia can keep the domain pending the outcome of the suit.

I’m not sure how much the company would have sold this domain for. Odds are it will spend more on the lawsuit than the domain is worth to it. But…

Ward off future UDRPs

The biggest reason to file a case like this is to put other potential complainants on notice: you’ll fight to protect your property.

Tucows has sent this message loud and clear. If you file a UDRP against the company they will take you to court. In Ontario, no less. It amazes me that some companies still file UDRPs against Tucows’ surnames portfolio. It’s a waste of money. If you win the UDRP you’ll find yourself on the other end of a lawsuit. I guess some complainants still don’t know how to use Google to find the many stories about Tucows doing this.

Have a cleaner image

UDRP losses can be used against you in future UDRP cases. If NameMedia wins this lawsuit, then any future complainant that cites the loss will be greeted with a response about how that loss didn’t stick.

There’s also the issue of retroactive penalties for UDRP losses. ICANN’s guidebook for new top level domains labels anyone who has three “final” adverse cybersquatting rulings within a specified period of time as a bad apple. They (technically) can’t apply for new TLDs. Who knows when another retroactive penalty will be slapped on domain name owners?

© 2011.

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Is this Trademark Lawsuit Unethical or Something Worse?

September 24, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, marchex, Policy & Law, trademarkComments Off on Is this Trademark Lawsuit Unethical or Something Worse?

Trying to get a domain name that existed before your trademark.

I’m a big supporter of intellectual property rights. Unfortunately I’m stuck writing more often about lawyers and companies that overstep their bounds.

The latest case: Smart Tax Holdings, LLC. The company filed a federal lawsuit (pdf) against Marchex for the domain name

The plaintiff started using the name “Smart Tax” in 2006 and filed a trademark on it. The trademark was granted in November 2008. was originally registered in 2000. It was part of the Ultimate Search portfolio later acquired by Marchex.

So Marchex has owned the domain name since well before Smart Tax Holdings, LLC even started using the Smart Tax term. Yet its lawyer has the gall to write this:

Defendant has not used Plaintiff’s mark coincidentally, but rather chose to associate Plaintiff’s mark with its own website for the sole purpose of unfairly steering traffic thereto.

How can you suggest that a company is “unfairly steering traffic” to a domain name it owned many years before you existed?

© 2011.

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Domainer Caught Off Guard After Being Named in Apparel Counterfeiting Lawsuit

July 26, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, Policy & LawComments Off on Domainer Caught Off Guard After Being Named in Apparel Counterfeiting Lawsuit

Domainer with parked domain name ensnared in lawsuit.

Imagine you’re a domain investor, just going along and buying domain names and parking them like everyone else. You know you may get hit with a cease & desist every once in a while from an aggressive trademark lawyer. But that’s about it.

But then one day you find yourself named in a massive apparel counterfeiting ring.

That’s what happened to VL Raymer. Raymer owns the domain name and has owned it since 1998, she says. In May this year, Industry Concept Holdings Inc. and Primp Inc filed a lawsuit against Raymer and at least 10 other parties on a number of charges related to counterfeiting Primp goods. According to the suit (originally filed under seal):

13. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereupon allege that at all times relevant hereto defendant VL RAYMER is based at P.O. Box 1118 Gilroy, CA 95021 and has advertised, distributed, offered for sale, and sold merchandise wrongfully bearing counterfeits and infringements of Primp’s Primp Trademarks and Copyrighted Works on in this judicial district and the State of California.

A look at historical thumbnails for shows nothing but parked pages.

Further perplexing Raymer was this statement in the original lawsuit:

Upon information and belief, Elgort, Lorber, Montoya, Payne, Garcia, Pacific Apparel, LLC, Saenz, Hautelook, Marquette Commercial Finance and VL Raymer (collectively “Defendants”) are all related to each other.

Raymer says she has no idea who these people and companies are.

It gets more interesting. The original suit states:

Primp’s Primp trademark was distinctive at the time the infringing domain names and were registered, and was, and is protected by the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125.

But Raymer says she was the original 1998 registrant of, which is five years before the “first use in commerce” of the Primp trademark in 2003. In the Memorandum of Points and Authorities, it states that Raymer registered “to facilitate the counterfeiting of the Primp clothing”, which is also curious if she registered the domain many years before Primp was around.

The plaintiffs have since filed an amended complaint. It appears to keep Raymer in the defendant list, not mention her location and charge upfront, but mention her again in the ACPA claim.

A case of mistakenly being added to a counterfeiting ring?

© 2011.

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Apple Sues Owner of, Then Dismisses Case

May 26, 2011apple, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, Policy & LawComments Off on Apple Sues Owner of, Then Dismisses Case

Seller of white iPhones sued.

Apple has sued the owner of (as well as the domain name itself), but then filed to dismiss the case on the same day (pdf).

However, the dismissal is “without prejudice”, meaning it can be refiled. It’s possible Apple was already in settlement talks with the owner or is refiling the case elsewhere.

Apple alleges the owner used the site to sell conversion kits to make the traditionally black iPhone white.

The full conversion kit including front and back panels sold for a whopping $279, which means customers were certainly concerned with their status. (Apple plans to sell white iPhones in the future.)

According to Apple, the domain owner knew he was selling a product emblazoned with the Apple logo but not authorized by Apple.

He stopped using the domain name last Fall when Apple contacted him. The domain is now a parked page.

© 2011.

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Janna Bullock Plays Whack-a-Mole with Domain Names

October 25, 2010Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, Policy & LawComments Off on Janna Bullock Plays Whack-a-Mole with Domain Names

NYC socialite struggles to control domain names.

New York real estate developer and socialite Janna Bullock has filed another cybersquatting lawsuit to recover domain names she says are similar to her name. Bullock filed the case against and in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia. Her official web site is

According to the complaint (pdf), Bullock brought a similar action against several domain names in May. The court granted summary judgment and ordered the domains transferred to Bullock. The two domain names at issue in the new complaint were registered shortly after the court ordered the previous domains transferred. Which means this could be a long game of whack-a-mole for Bullock, and she might consider going on the offensive to register similar domain names.

Bullock is a rags-to-riches story, moving from nanny to real estate mogul. But earlier this year the socialist became ensnared in a Russian scandal.

The sites appear to target the scandal, linking to the latest updates and news. The suit alleges that the domains currently at issue are made to look like Bullock’s official web site. Both sites are down at the time of writing, but a cache is available.

© 2010.

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Microsoft Files Cybersquatting Lawsuit Over Bing Domain Names

October 11, 2010anti-cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuit, microsoft, Policy & LawComments Off on Microsoft Files Cybersquatting Lawsuit Over Bing Domain Names

Microsoft goes after Bing cybersquatters.

Microsoft has filed a lawsuit (pdf) against a California man and several John Does over their registration of domain names containing the “Bing” mark. The suit lists 21 allegedly infringing domain names ranging from to to

Microsoft says that over 1,500 domain names containing “bing” were registered each month in the two months following the announcement of its search engine name.

The company is asking the court to hand over the domain names, the defendants to pay legal fees and damages, as well as $100,000 in statutory damages under the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act.

My guess is that Davies is a small-time cybersquatter who doesn’t know what he’s doing, given that the domain names are mostly parked with GoDaddy’s “free” parking for which he doesn’t earn click-through revenue. Every time a large company announces a new product there are people who register related domain names thinking they’re going to hit pay dirt. They aren’t aware of the law.

© 2010.

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Proxy Battle Launched to Replace Live Current Media Board

September 20, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, geoffrey hampson, lawsuit, live current media, Policy & LawComments Off on Proxy Battle Launched to Replace Live Current Media Board

Battle begins to replace board at Live Current Media.

The former CEO of what is now Live Current Media has launched a proxy battle to regain control of the company’s Board of Directors.

David Jeffs was CEO of the company from 2002 to 2007 when he hired Geoffrey Hampson to replace him. According to the proxy solicitation:

In March 2010, Mr. Jeffs received from a shareholder of the Company a news release issued by Corelink Data Centers LLC, a Delaware company that provides data technologies and web-hosting services on the Internet. The news release described Mr. Hampson as the CEO and Corelink’s success in establishing data centers in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle and Chicago. The news release went on to say that, in conjunction with Corelink’s establishment of its new headquarters in Chicago, Mr. Hampson would move to Chicago at the end of March 2010. This news release suggested to Mr. Jeffs that Mr. Hampson was working for another company. He reviewed Corelink’s website and talked to others familiar with the Company to find out what he could about Mr. Hampson’s relationship to Corelink. He discovered that Mr. Hampson formed Corelink in August 2007, fewer than three months after becoming the Company’s CEO, became Corelink’s CEO in November 2007, and had established Corelink’s four data centers in the two and a half years from Corelink’s formation in August 2007 to the date of its news release in February 2010.

The proxy solicitation mentions several other grievances:

- Committed to paying bonuses of $700,000 and an annual salary of $275,000 and other benefits to the president hired to replace Mr. Jeffs on October 1, 2007, who resigned from the Company as of January 31, 2009 after serving only 16 months of his five-year contract

- Hired his common-law spouse—who appears to have a lot of fashion experience but no Internet retail experience—to run

-With the approval of the Current Board, lowered the exercise prices of the options granted to the members of the Current Board and other employees from between $2.00 and $2.50 to 65¢

- Filed unreliable financial statements for the periods ended September 30, 2008, December 31, 2008 and March 31, 2009 and had to file restated financial statements

- In March 2008, acquired an early-stage start-up business for $5 million that had no revenues and was written off the books by the end of 2009 after the Company determined by the end of June 2009 that the auction software acquired through the acquisition was impaired (Auctomatic)

Hampson and the board has already been sued over similar issues.

© 2010.

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