Austin Rare Coins asks court to hand over allegedly stolen domain names.
An Austin company has filed an in rem cybersquatting lawsuit in an effort to get control over eight domain names it says were stolen from its possession.
Austin Rare Coins, Inc. first turned to National Arbitration Forum with a UDRP filing to try to get the domain names back. The panel awarded it one domain but not the others, saying it didn’t prove any trademark rights to most of the domain names.
Now the company has filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the domain names in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Virginia. The complaint was filed in this jurisdiction because the plaintiff says it’s home to both the .com/.net registry (VeriSign) and .org registry (Public Interest Registry).
According to Austin Rare Coins, on or before May 2011 either a hacker or inside employee took control of its servers and email mailboxes, giving the perpetrator a way to initiate a domain transfer and steal the domains.
It also says the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case.
As an in rem case, the defendant is actually the domain names and not their owner. According to the plaintiff, it believes the whois information for the domains is false. The domains include acoins.com, gold-prices.com, goldcoins.org, goldinfo.net, goldprices.com, rarecoins.com, rarecoins.org, and silverinfo.net.