First the judge questioned trademarks. Now a company says it bought one of the domains.
Yoshiki Okada’s lawsuit to recover valuable domain names he says were stolen from him is getting messier.
Okada filed an in rem lawsuit late last year to recover the domain names eol.com, fde.com, jol.com, nnn.com, olp.com, tang.com, wok.com, wtv.com, and zhang.com.
No one showed up to defend the domain names but the judge questioned if this was really a case that should have been filed as a cybersquatting claim. Were the domains really used in commerce? Did Okada have trademark rights? Tang.com seemed to be a trigger since it’s also a well-known trademark owned by a food company.
As if that wasn’t a big enough wrench in the lawsuit, now a company has raised its hand and said that it bought OLP.com last year to rebrand its business (pdf).
OneLoanPlace.com rebranded as OLP.com after acquiring the domain name. It finally got ready to relaunch its business on the OLP.com domain this year, only to find out it was locked due to the lawsuit.
The company says it bought the domain on January 23, 2018. In Okada’s suit, he said the domain was stolen on or about January 29, 2018.
It’s worth noting that the loan company reached out to buy the domain through a broker. Based on its legal filing, it was not approached by someone who could have been the thief.
OLP.com wants to defend the domain name in the lawsuit. So this relatively simple case is now becoming much more complicated.
Who was the broker?
Andrew Allemann says
It doesn’t say
John Berryhill says
If only there was a news reporter who might track them down and ask. 🙂
“In Okada’s suit, he said the domain was stolen on or about January 29, 2018.” That is an incorrect statement. Not sure if in the suit or in this article but January 29, 2016 would be a closer date in regards to when it was stolen based on whois history data. More likely January 22, 2016. DomainGang wrote about it January 26, 2016 in fact: https://domaingang.com/domain-crime/domain-crime-olp-com-added-to-list-of-stolen-domain-names/
Andrew Allemann says
It’s what the lawsuit says. See Theo’s comment.
John Berryhill says
And in steps yet another ICANN policy to muddy the waters…..
“Upon purchase of the domain name, OLP had full access to the website at and
updated the site to reflect a notice that read “Coming Soon.” (Id. ¶ 16). Artecona logged in to
his GoDaddy® account and changed the registrant and technical contact information after the
transfer was complete to reflect OLP‟s status as registrant. (Id. ¶ 17). Artecona believed that he
had completed all necessary steps to properly update the registrant information for
but inadvertently overlooked an email including a link to confirm that change. (Id. ¶ 18, exhibit
C). If Artecona had clicked that link the contact information for would be correct in
the “whois” database today.”
What Artecona ‘believed’ to be sufficient steps to transfer a domain name is entirely irrelevant to the ICANN Transfer Policy, which requires the new registrant to confirm the change. These people were never transferred the domain name under the ICANN Transfer Policy if they did not confirm the change. It’s like saying “I bought the car” without having transferred the title. You may have paid for the car, but you don’t have title to the car.
Another interesting aspect here is:
“Thus, on January 23, 2018, after considerable negotiation, OLP purchased the domain
name and transferred the purchase monies to the registrant seller through
They seem to go out of their way to avoid mentioning from whom they bought the domain name, and refer to “the registrant seller” as if the person they paid were the actual registrant.
Neither story makes a whole lot of sense, though. Okada’s last appearance in WHOIS was back in 2009. In late 2009, the name goes to Electric Online Inc.. at the same Japanese address. Unless the account was taken over and none of the information changed in a stealth-mode hi-jack, the name seems to be jacked in January 2016, when it goes from Enom to a Chinese registrar and a Chinese registrant using a gmail address. It makes another hop to Ename and stays there through 2018. It comes back to GoDaddy in early 2018 after churning through a couple of registrant contacts.
The updated date for the first hop to China is 2016-01-22, so if the Complaint says it was hi-jacked in January 2018, it must be a typo.
John Berryhill says
One other thing worth noting is that OLP.com had been flagged as a stolen name long before these people bought it. Had they done any diligence at all, a basic Google search shows that SEDO had removed it from their platform as stolen, and it was widely reported on domain blogs as a stolen name.
John, you are correct.
Reported it as stolen in 2016: https://domaingang.com/domain-crime/domain-crime-olp-com-added-to-list-of-stolen-domain-names/
Then again in 2017: https://domaingang.com/domain-crime/sedo-removes-stolen-domains-olp-com-and-fde-com-from-its-platform/
Both reports were made before the alleged 2018 sale.
What a mess and I see a lot of stuff but this one is a mess.
they can buy http://www.OLP.io from me 😉
C.S. Watch says
“Messier” is right on the nose. U.S. Magistrate Judge Theresa Carroll Buchanan would have done far better to possess herself in silence here: “Names such as “tang” arouse the Court’s suspicion that Plaintiff may be engaged in the type of activity that ACPA was intended to remedy.”
Statements like that arouse the public’s suspicion that Judge Buchanan doesn’t understand “standing.”
Domain theft needs a smooth legal track to ride on for relief, is this it? The ACPA shouldn’t be summoned from the deep, oozing sulfurous common law use and distinctiveness issues for thousands of years and pages. What taxpayer is hosting that rat king? And have standing or GTFO.
Can you imagine thinking that the word “Tang” is wholly owned on this planet by a powdered drink they advertised about 50 years ago? The word “Tang” is no less generic than the word “Tudor.” Xi’An, the heart of the Tang dynasty, was once the largest city on earth.
This is why we can’t have nice things. things. https://youtu.be/aBJ_5U5lois
Do you know where I can find recent informations concerning this domains. I’m interested by EOL.COM but impossible to get whois informations, to know if it’s still stolen, still in litigation …