Interesting cybersquatting lawsuit questions tribal sovereign immunity.
Two years ago today I wrote about a lawsuit that VirtualPoint, Inc. (the same company that runs UDRPSearch) filed against Poarch Band of Creek Indians after the latter won a UDRP to get VirtualPoint’s domain name WindCreek.com.
Domain investor George Kirikos recently came upon the UDRP decision in that case and noted that the following language had been added to the top:
The November 13, 2015 decision of the Panel in the following UDRP proceeding is hereby withdrawn in full pursuant to the order and Consent Judgment, dated July 10, 2017, from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Virtualpoint, Inc., dba Captive Media v. Poarch Band of Creek Indians, dba PCI Gaming Authority, Case 8:15-cv-02025-CJC-KES (C.D. Cal. July 10, 2017)
The case was settled this summer. The parties agreed to overturn the UDRP decision but VirtualPoint agreed to transfer the domain name to Poarch Band of Creek Indians for $40,000. As of today, WindCreek.com is not in use.
This case was more interesting than your typical lawsuit resulting from a UDRP. Poarch Band of Creek Indians claimed tribal sovereign immunity when the lawsuit was filed. However, VirtualPoint argued that the tribe had waived its immunity by filing the UDRP.
The court agreed that tribe waived its rights but only as to a challenge to the National Arbitration Forum’s decision to transfer ownership of the domain name.