Judge orders Lahoti to disclose lots of information about his current and prior domain names.
The judge hearing a lawsuit between a non-profit and the domain name Scratch.org has issued a big defeat to Ravi Lahoti, the owner of the Scratch.org.
Judge Michael S. Nachmanoff has ordered Lahoti to provide extensive data on his domain ownership, revenue, and previous trademark allegations. Perhaps most importantly, he has ruled the information should be public.
It is further ORDERED that the Defendant shall provide complete discovery responses as set forth in open court by Wednesday, October 9, at 12:00 p.m., including a comprehensive list of domain names presently and previously owned by Defendant; disclosure of all revenue derived therefrom, including from the sale of domain names and from advertisement revenue; and dates Defendant owned each domain name. Defendant shall also provide all requested underlying information, whether public or private, that Defendant received pertaining to allegations of trademark abuse against Defendant. To the extent Defendant has discarded, destroyed, or lost any information related to past allegations of trademark abuse, he must affirmatively so state.
Code-to-Learn Foundation, DBA Scratch Foundation, is trying to paint Lahoti as a serial cybersquatter. The judge has indicated that this matters. I still don’t understand how it should impact the instant case because public data indicates that Lahoti owned Scratch.org before the Plaintiff started its business. Hence, he could not have registered the domain in bad faith under the ACPA.
But publicly disclosing the information the judge has demanded will certainly put Lahoti at risk of future cybersquatting claims and potentially provide evidence of bad faith that can be used in those claims. It could also be bad for people who have purchased domains from Lahoti and don’t wish for the sale prices to be made public.
Lahoti may wish he had gone through with a settlement agreement in this case.