Response filed in Verizon domain name lawsuit.
Two defendants in a lawsuit filed by Verizon alleging cybersquatting have responded to the suit.
Both The Producers, Inc., and Michael Gardner have responded to Verizon’s allegations that they registered domains related to Verizon trademarks. The somewhat bizarre case revolves around what DirectNIC does with domain names when they expire but are not yet deleted. Like most registrars, DirectNIC removes the registrant’s details from whois and places a parked page on the domain.
In their defenses, The Producers and Gardner didn’t say much, other than denying most of the allegations made by Verizon. They also have terse affirmative defenses, including that Verizon has “unclean hands”:
Some or all of Plaintiffs’ claims and/or remedies are barred in whole or in part by the doctrine of “unclean hands”.
This basically alleges that Verizon is engaging in some of the same behavior that it alleges the defendants have engaged in. Although the response doesn’t elaborate, this could be about Verizon’s practice of displaying a parked page to its ISP customers when they type in a domain name that doesn’t exist.
The defendants also claim estoppel, statute of limitations/laches, ACPA Immunity, Communications Decency Act immunity, actions permitted by contract (that defendants are permitted to operate a proxy registration service), failure to mitigate damages, and third-party liability (that third parties are liable to The Producers and Gardner for all or part of the Plaintiffs’ claims).