Judge explains why he dismissed Verisign’s lawsuit.
Judge Claude M. Hilton has issued his reason for granting .XYZ’s motion for summary judgment in a battle with .com giant Verisign.
The judge granted the motion for summary judgment on October 26. In an opinion released today, Hilton said that .XYZ’s and Daniel Negari’s statements were a combination of fact, opinion and puffery.
For example, saying “all the good real estate is taken” is merely an opinion.
The video comparing a shiny Audi as .xyz to a beat up car as .com was merely puffery and opinion, he ruled.
I suspect Verisign will disagree with how Hilton determined that most .com domain names are taken:
Further, according to Plaintiff’s own data, .com names are largely unavailable. In a given month, Plaintiff reports that it receives about 2 billion requests to register .com domain names, yet fewer than 3 million are actually registered. Most of the requests fail because the requested .com name is unavailable. 3 million out of 2 billion is less than 1%; thus, more than 99% of .com names are unavailable.
Verisign argues that the majority of domain names are still available, which is true…if you want ljksljfkdlskf8-k24jlj.com.
The decision also gave a bit more detail about .XYZ’s deal with registrar Network Solutions. It confirms that Network Solutions bought 375,000 .xyz registrations for $3 million in return for .XYZ buying $3 million worth of advertising from the registrar.
Hilton seemed to accept that using this money in statements that.XYZ had a “multi-million dollar marketing budget” was fair.
The judge also said that, even if statements were false, they were not material:
“Plantiff cannot establish the causal connection between the alleged false statements and damages to Plaintiff. Plaintiff’s own data shows that .com registrations actually increased after Defendants’ statements.”
Verisign also argued that a fall in .Net registrations was tied to .XYZ. Hilton said the timing of .net’s fall showed correlation, but not causation. .Net was also affected by the rollout of hundreds of new TLDs and changes to Verisign’s marketing. .Net was also falling before .XYZ made its statements.
The full decision is available here.