Judge dismisses case against GoDaddy for locking domain name.
U.S. District Judge Douglas L. Rayes has dismissed (pdf) a lawsuit filed against GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) over the domain name 968.com.
In the lawsuit, Yuming Hao stated that she acquired the domain name 968.com from a man named Chu Chu for ￥800,000 (about $120,000 at the time) on July 1, 2022. Chu Chu tried to transfer the domain name to the plaintiff, but Chu Chu found that GoDaddy had locked his account, the lawsuit alleged.
According to the lawsuit, GoDaddy removed 968 .com from Chu Chu’s account on July 6 and the plaintiff could not obtain the domain name.
Yuming Hao asked for a declaratory judgment that she was the rightful owner of the domain, conversion, and intentional interference with contractual relations.
But Rayes agreed with GoDaddy that the case should be dismissed.
On the issue of conversion, he determined:
…a domain name is intangible property and Hao does not allege that his property interest in the domain name was merged in any tangible document over which GoDaddy is wrongfully exercising dominion or control.
Regarding interference with a contract, Rayes noted that it was implausible that GoDaddy knew about the agreement between the domain buyer and seller when it locked the account.
And because those claims failed, Hao’s request for declaratory judgment must fail.
Update: GoDaddy is using this decision in an effort to get the lawsuit over ens.link dismissed. It sent the decision to the judge in that case today, April 26.