Company files in rem lawsuit in Florida after losing UDRP.
Nubank, a Brazilian finance startup that has raised billions in funding, has filed a lawsuit (pdf) against the domain name Nubank.com, alleging that the registration of the domain violates the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). The company uses the domain name Nubank.com.br.
The company was found guilty of reverse domain name hijacking last year when it filed a cybersquatting claim against the domain under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP).
Nubank filed its in rem lawsuit in Florida. This might be because the domain is registered at Network Solutions with a Whois privacy address in Florida. But in rem lawsuits against .com domains are almost exclusively filed in Virginia, where .com registry Verisign is based.
In the lawsuit, Nubank admits that the domain was registered in 1997, well before it existed. But it argues that it was renewed in or around November 2020 and seems to think this should restart the clock since this was after Nubank was formed. (It was actually transferred from FastDomain to Amazon Registrar to Network Solutions during this timeframe.)
Nubank also says that a person named George Daniel Hudson claims to be the domain owner, but it can’t verify this because of Whois privacy. This ignores that the registrar at the time the UDRP was filed verified to World Intellectual Property Organization that Dan Hudson owned the domain.
Nubank points to a change on the website last year that caused concern: the site changed to a logo for a “NUBANK” saying it was coming soon. An Archive.org capture of the site had a link to the LinkedIn profile for Dan Hudson.
In other words, it’s really obvious who owns the domain name, so I don’t understand the in rem filing.
Nixon Peabody is representing Nubank in the lawsuit. K&L Gates LLP represented Nubank in its reverse domain name hijacking filing.