Philip Morris takes down gripe sites in sloppy cybersquatting decision

Tobacco company convinces arbitration panelist to hand over domain names used to criticize it.

Philip Morris

One of the gripe sites Philip Morris just took down.

Philip Morris has won another cybersquatting complaint against a long time nemesis.

The company convinced a single member National Arbitration Forum panelist that David Delman should hand over six domain names he used as gripe sites about smoking: philipmorris.website, philipmorrisviolations.website, philipmorriscigarettediseases.org, philipmorriscigaretteskill.com, philipmorriscigarettescankill.com and philipmorriscigarettediseases.com.

The tobacco company has previously won seven cybersquatting complaints against this same person. Yet panelist Katalin Szamosi turned in a shoddy reasoning to the case, regardless of whether you think Philip Morris should have won or not.

Philip Morris had to prove that the domain names were confusingly similar to its marks. Typically in gripe site cases, the panel will consider if someone seeing the domain name would think it was controlled by the trademark holder or not. Obviously, Philip Morris is unlikely to create a site called PhilipMorrisCigarettesKill.com, so it normally wouldn’t pass the test.

But Szamosi wrote: Click to continue reading…

Here are the Exhibit and Witness lists for the Verisign v. XYZ trial

Lists will hit home in the domain name industry.

Verisign’s lawsuit against XYZ.com, LLC and Daniel Negari continues to move forward at full speed, thanks to the “rocket docket” in U.S. District Court Eastern District of Virginia.

Both parties have submitted their proposed exhibit lists and witnesses for the trial.

Reviewing the exhibit lists, it’s clear that if you emailed Daniel Negari about .xyz, there’s a good chance Verisign has reviewed that email. If you wrote or commented about .xyz, Verisign’s counsel has read it.

Among the email exchanges Verisign plans to use as exhibits at trial are with bloggers Michael Berkens, Morgan Linton, Rick Schwartz and Kevin Murphy, as well as Donuts CEO Paul Stahura. Click here to continue reading…

Donuts: Verisign trying to intimidate, bully competitors with .XYZ lawsuit

New top level domain company issues statement after court finds in its favor.

A judge in U.S. District Court in Washington state has denied Verisign’s request for reconsideration in a subpoena battle involving competitor Donuts. Donuts says Verisign is trying to intimated and bully competitors through similar subpoenas.

Verisign subpoenaed Donuts as a non-party in the .com registry’s lawsuit against .XYZ and Daniel Negari. Donuts fought back, asking the court to quash the subpoena.

The judge granted much of Donuts’ request. But then Verisign said that it had evidence, obtained during discovery, that suggested Donuts CEO Paul Stahura was providing guidance to Negari as it related to Verisign’s lawsuit.

Verisign asked the court to reconsider it original decision, and the court has now denied (pdf) Verisign’s request.

Donuts issued the following statement:

The Federal Court granted Donuts’ motion to quash a burdensome subpoena seeking private and irrelevant communications in a lawsuit to which it isn’t a party. Unfortunately, Verisign has been attempting to intimidate competitors and gain access to sensitive information from Donuts, GoDaddy, Web.com and others in a lawsuit it brought against .XYZ LLC. Donuts will not tolerate this kind of prying into its confidential business matters and appreciates the court ruling against these bullying tactics.

ICANN is also fighting a subpoena from Verisign related to the .XYZ lawsuit.

Verisign sues CentralNic and .XYZ over .Theatre, .Protection and .Security

Company upset that Verisign was dropped as registry services provider in favor of CentralNic.

Earlier this week I noted a lawsuit Verisign filed in Virginia against .XYZ and Daniel Negari. Thanks to a request by the defendants to remove the case to federal district court, I now have a copy of the lawsuit (large PDF).

As it turns out, Verisign originally sued Key Brand Entertainment, applicant for .Theatre, and CentralNic back in March in Circuit Court in Fairfax County. The basis of the lawsuit was that Key Brand Entertainment dropped Verisign as the registry services provider for the domain name and switched to CentralNic. Verisign said this switch was due to a third party, unknown at the time, acquiring the .theatre domain name. Click here to continue reading…

Fight over APE.com lands in court

Domain name is at the center of a family business dispute.

The domain name Ape.com is the subject of a lawsuit just filed in U.S. District Court in Florida – Key West Division.

The dispute is a weird one, and it sounds like the Scheu family doesn’t get together for Thanksgiving.

Scheu & Scheu, Inc. filed the lawsuit (pdf) against husband and wife Casey Scheu and Veronica Scheu, as well as the company Ape.com LLC. They threw in Network Solutions for good measure.

Click to continue reading…