Yahoo Settles Lawsuit and Gets Domain Name

Yahoo now has for web site.

As Michael Berkens pointed out today, Yahoo now owns the domain name

But this wasn’t your typical domain name sale. It was actually the culmination of year long anti-cybersquatting lawsuit brought against the owner AshantiPLC, which is owned in part by domain investor Sahar Sarid.

Yahoo’s lawsuit against the Ashanti was filed in July 2009. Yahoo alleged that the defendants purchased the domain name for $55,000 on eBay in July 2006. The suit chronicles what the defendants did with the name after they bought it, including showing traffic stats and citing numerous rejected offers. (They even turned down a $700,000 offer.) It also states that the defendants placed ads to camera companies on the domain name. Yahoo alleged that the defendants responded to twitter inquiries about being down.

You can read Yahoo’s original lawsuit here, and the defendant’s response here.

The parties entered mediation and settled the case, with Yahoo dismissing it last week. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.


  1. Josh says

    Can anyone get to the point as to why they’d settle at all. Was there use or tm dates that favoured AshantiPLC ? Just a little lazy to read it all.

  2. Josh says

    Ok so I got unlazy and read the doc. I assume they have some evidence the name registered and used before was for picture(s) or sharing? At any rate good for them I guess, mind you turning down a $650k profit on a name that was only worth anything really because of flickr is bold or greedy or indicative of your debt or lifestyle.

    If did not exist the name wouldnt see $5k-$10k at best on the open market, I know Id only buy the name because of’s existance, to believe they didnt is hard to swallow.

  3. Steve M says

    Knowing Sahar; and given their excellent legal arguments; even with the legal defense costs, he still did measurably better than the 600-700k previous offer.

    Wouldn’t surprise if Yahoo paid a million to get it.

  4. Josh says

    So let me get this right, you risk losing a $650k PROFIT, risk losing the name and ending up with nothing, paying legal bills etc all to make $200k +/- more after legal expenses?

    That math makes no sense, you fold that hand and take the $650k every day of the weak if those are the numbers. To risk $650k you better be getting millions in the end. The risk certainly would have to be worth the reward.

    Do I believe they paid millions, maybe but unlikely, silly gamble.

  5. whatif says

    imagine if yahoo lost this case.
    (perhaps they had no real acpa claim. when was registered, in 1998, flickr wasn’t a TM nor even a registered domain name. the acpa uses the term registration, not sale or transfer. does purchasing the name on ebay amount to a “registration”? read the acpa and see what you think.)
    worst case for yahoo, if it was found yahoo deceived the uspto, as alleged by ashanti, yahoo could lose the flickr mark.
    maybe yahoo had much more to lose than ashanti, if one assumes the flickr TM is worth more than 600K.
    there was a story about this on techcrunch and now it’s gone.
    this was not your typical cybersquatting case. there was no registration while a confusingly similar TM was in existence.
    in fact the TM was derived from an existing domain name, a generic, dictionary word.
    imagine if yahoo had been sucessful. what would be the implications?
    existing generic word domain name owners could be sued by businesses that decide to register TM’s for “web 2.0” variations of the generic word?
    what am i missing here?

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