Lawsuit claims domain name registrar transferred domain name back to cybersquatter.
It’s not unusual to find a domain name registrar named in a cybersquatting lawsuit because an infringing domain is registered with them. But a case filed June 2 in U.S. District Court against eNom involves an alleged inappropriate transfer back to a cybersquatter. Here’s what happened, according to the lawsuit.
Financial services company First American won the domain name firstamerican.com from Pluto Domain Services in January of this year through UDRP. (Incidentally, First American lost a UDRP for the same domain name in 2000 against Ult Search.) First American alleges Pluto is associated with ICANN-accredited domain name registrar Lead Networks of India, where the domain name is registered. After losing the UDRP decision, Pluto sued First American in India to keep the domain name.
First American says it then settled with Pluto, agreeing to transfer the domain name to First American in return for money. Pluto transferred the domain name to eNom, where First American registers its domain names. But then Pluto and/or Lead Networks informed eNom that the transfer was a mistake, so eNom transferred it back.
First American blames eNom for transferring the domain name back, and says that eNom also should have known the domain name was infringing because it is the registrar for First American’s domain names. The suit claims eNom should pay $100,000 plus legal fees.
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. It’s possible First American brought eNom into the lawsuit because it helps prove that Washington (where eNom is based) is an appropriate jurisdiction.
You can read the lawsuit here (pdf).