Hot in August: Top 5 Stories on Domain Name Wire

A look back at the past month in the domain name biz.

It’s back to school, cooler weather and domain name conference season…

But before that, August was a news-making month for the domain name industry, in particular the .xyz domain name.

I wrote multiple stories on some of the hotter topics, so I’ve grouped these together on the list. Click here to continue reading…

.XYZ seeks to dismiss Verisign’s expert testimony

New TLD company claims some expert testimony should not be allowed.

.XYZ is asking the court to dismiss expert testimony from four expert witnesses in Verisign’s false advertising lawsuit against the new top level domain company.

Some of the court filings are heavily redacted, leaving out the juicy details many in the domain name want to know. All expert witness reports were filed under seal.

For example, just what kind of deal did .XYZ have with Network Solutions when the latter gave away hundreds of thousands of .xyz domain names? Click here 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…

Verisign presses Network Solutions for details on .XYZ registrations

Company files motion to compel Network Solutions’ parent company to provide a witness.

Verisign has filed a motion (pdf) in a Florida court to compel Web.com, parent company of Network Solutions, to provide a witness to testify about how the registrar accounted for free .xyz domain names.

Network Solutions gave away perhaps hundreds of thousands of .xyz domain names last year. They weren’t just offered for free; They were placed in customer accounts on an opt-out basis.

Verisign is suing .XYZ for false advertising. Among its arguments is that .XYZ used these free domains as evidence that there was high demand for its .com alternative.

Verisign has already deposed one Web.com employee on the matter, but he was not able to answer questions about how the registrar accounted for the registrations.

In the motion to compel, Verisign wrote: 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.