Lawyers say investigation against Moniker has been long-running.
For the record, I have no idea if any of the allegations in Transamerica’s lawsuit against Moniker are true. But I do know that its lawyers bungled the first complaint they filed. It was rife with many “gotchas” that could be proven false with cursory investigation.
So I was somewhat surprised to see, in an opposition to Moniker’s request for more time to make a filing, that the law firm says it has been investigating Moniker since 2005. The law firm writes:
The main contentions in Defendants’ threatened Rule 11 motion were that Plaintiff failed to perform a cursory pre-filing factual investigation and that its legal claims were frivolous. The investigation leading to this dispute was anything but cursory. That investigation goes back to 2005 and involves virtually every one of the principal trademark clients at the law firm of Plaintiff’s counsel, all of whom have been affected by the conduct of Defendants described in Plaintiff’s complaint. Plaintiff’s pre-filing investigation includes (and included at the time Plaintiff’s original complaint was filed) reports from investigators in the Cayman Islands, China, Germany, the Netherlands, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.
That makes sense and is believable. But in all that time they didn’t talk to a domain name lawyer or someone familiar with the domain name system to figure out how it works? In all that time they missed so many red flags?
But the statement I really don’t get is that the lawyers say their amended complaint against Moniker is “fundamentally unchanged” from the original complaint, and:
Plaintiff did not amend its complaint to remove any frivolous contentions or material errors. Plaintiff amended its complaint to shorten and sharpen its allegations as a means of meeting Defendants legal contentions more directly, something that could not have been done before Defendants’ contentions were known.
I don’t know the definition of “frivolous contentions” or “material errors”. But to me, changing the crux of your argument from “Moniker owns all of these domains” and set up bogus entities to hide them is very different from “Moniker’s customers own all of these domains”.
Transamerica objection filing document (pdf)