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Domain Name Owners Can Keep Their Domain Names - with Assistance Of U.S. Federal Courts
12/6/01 2:09 PM
Source: PR Newswire

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In an important decision issued yesterday by a U.S. federal court, it was ruled that a domain name owner who has lost a domain name in an Internet ICANN proceeding can obtain a U.S. court decision to permit him to keep the name. The decision was issued in a lawsuit that was filed to overturn a decision of the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO"), a Swiss organization which has been granted decision- making authority by the Internet governing body, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). In a decision in July of 2000, WIPO had decided that the domain name should be transferred to a Brazilian corporation named Corinthians Licenciamentos. The domain name had initially been owned by a U.S. citizen for the posting of Biblical quotations.

The initial owner of the domain name requested that the federal court declare that he was not a cybersquatter under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA") and that the domain name should not be transferred from him. In an initial decision by the district court, it was decided that federal courts did not have jurisdiction over the dispute involving the WIPO decision. The initial decision was overturned, however, in the appellate court decision issued yesterday, which ruled that U.S. federal courts can make a determination that a domain name should not be transferred if a plaintiff can prove that he has not violated ACPA.

"This is an important decision," according to Stephen H. Sturgeon, a Washington, DC Internet lawyer specializing in domain name disputes, "It establishes a precedent for domain name owners to obtain reversals of decisions issued by ICANN arbitration organizations." Mr. Sturgeon, who practices in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia, said that a number of new lawsuits will probably be filed by disenfranchised domain name owners to obtain decisions permitting them to keep their domain names. The U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia has been a major forum for cases involving domain names because Network Solutions, the central registry of domain names, is located in Virginia.

Full text of the decision in Jay D. Sallen V. Corinthians Licenciamentos LTDA and Desportos Licenciamentos LTDA, is at
CONTACT: Stephen H. Sturgeon, Esquire


SOURCE Law Offices of Stephen H. Sturgeon & Associates, PC

Copyright 2000, PR Newswire

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