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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.

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  1. imho says

    they really outdid themselves this time.
    dot com contract renewal is no longer presumptive. even without the premium model dream ( clause ).
    dont dump your dot coms. dump Verisign’s stock -there will never be a better time to sell their stocks.

  2. T says

    Verisign has to protect the integrity of their name, plain and simple. A company can’t allow 1 registry to lie and mislead people into believing they have no choice to register their name because there’s absolutely nothing left on .com – It’s dirty marketing and Verisign has every right to be smart and not take that type of bad publicity and be silent.

    • John Berryhill says

      “mislead people into believing they have no choice to register their name because there’s absolutely nothing left on .com”

      That is utter foolishness in view of the fact of how domain names are sold.

      If you search for a domain name in any TLD, there is not a registrar of which I am aware which fails to show if it is available in other TLDs.

      I just went to GoDaddy and checked:


      and, sure enough, here’s what GoDaddy suggested:

      verisignneedsbetterblogtrolls.xyz $9.99

      Get 3 and Save 50%

      verisignneedsbetterblogtrolls.org $25.00

      Searching for a .xyz name at the most popular registrar, gave me the option to buy a package which included TWO Verisign-operated TLD names.

      As a point of practical fact, which indicates you have never registered a domain name, it is not POSSIBLE to “mislead people into believing the .com is available.”

      In fact, it is quite obvious, by the experiment shown above at GoDaddy, that Verisign is colluding with registrars in order to “bait and switch” people who are searching for a .xyz name in order to advertise Verisign’s competing TLD when people are specifically searching to register a .xyz name.

      From what I understand from Greg Shatan and associated IPC types of the world, if an internet user searches for a product, and that search results in exposure to any other product in addition to what they are searching, then it is a crime against humanity.

      The same thing happens at Name.com, Enom, and every registrar I tested. Every single time I search for VerisignNeedsBetterBlogTrolls.xyz , EVERY single registrar offers to sell me the .com.

      So, please explain to me, since I must have fallen off the stupid truck, how it is that .XYZ could mislead someone into thinking the .com is not available? As a practical reality, that is not possible.

      In fact, it may inspire people to check if a .xyz is available and, seeing the .com is also available, decide to register the .com instead.

      Hence it is entirely plausible the pitch actually sells .com domain names, simply by getting people to see what is, or is not, available.

      Interestingly, when I search to VerisignNeedsBetterBlogTrolls.com, none of the registrars I tested offered me a .xyz.

      So, why is it if I try to register a .xyz, every registrar offers me a .com, but if I try to register a .com, no registrar offers me a .xyz?

      I’m sure that’s a question a couple of subpoenas might answer…

  3. James Louis says

    Donuts is a hypocrite in their response here.

    On one hand they complain about a “burdensome subpoena seeking private and irrelevant communications” but according to a recent piece on the .RUGBY IRP Donuts filed, “Donuts then went ahead and sought “all communications between ICANN and the International Chamber of Commerce that relate to any one of seven broadly framed topics,” as well as all documents “reflecting” such communications. That move has slowed the whole process down. ICANN says that Donuts’ requests are “exceptionally broad and inappropriate” and would “impose a massive burden on ICANN that would delay this already-delayed proceeding considerably further.”

    Donuts.hypocrites has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Read the full piece at http://www.bna.com/sport-rugby-control-b17179934765/

  4. Mason Cole says

    James Louis – That is comparing apples and oranges. One has to do with a party seeking confidential information for competitive advantage from another not party to the case (and a neutral court ruled against Verisign), while another is a party willfully disregarding its governing bylaws and its rhetoric being taken as accurate. Donuts stands by its statement and its reconsideration request.

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