On June 4th over at Domainnamewire, an article was posted about a surprise auction of domain names, all largely based on misspellings of ‘government grants’ and variations thereof, totaling $65,000. These domain names were sold on May 25th at NameJet, and were all previously domains registered at Network Solutions.
The unusual story behind the sale of these domain names began with a judgment (later reaffirmed) against the notorious cybersquatter John Zuccarini. Back in October of 2000, the US DC for the ED of Pennsylvania rendered a $500,000 verdict against Zuccarini for violating the Truth in Domain Names Act. That decision can be found here. The US CoA for the 3rd Circuit affirmed the trial court’s decision on June 15, 2001 and ordered Zuccarini to pay additional statutory damages totaling $50,000.
That decision can be found here.
The courts found those judgments against Zuccarini were proper because in addition to ‘typo squatting’ on popular trademarks such as Hot Wheels, Cartoon Network, and Homestar Runner, he was also embroiled in the unsavory practice of redirecting traffic from young audience websites to websites containing child pornography. This practice is in direct violation of the Truth in Domain Names Act and was a substantial stimulus in passing the act.More recently, Office Depot won a judgment against Zuccarini and as part of the award was given the rights to domain names including;
Office Depot assigned its rights under the judgment to DS Holdings who was supposed to recover part of the judgment against Zuccarini by selling the domain names. However, the court appointed receiver, the person whose duty it was to hold onto the domain names during the court process, appears to have ‘dropped the ball’ and he let the domain names expire. After expiring, the domain names were sent from Network Solutions to NameJet where they were auctioned off on May 25th for a total of $65,000.
First on the list and also a typo, govermentgrants.com alone sold for $53,022.
Since the unusual sale; the court has been asked to order an emergency injunction to lock down the domains.
Contact an internet attorney specalizing in cybersquatting and domain name disputes if you are faced with a cybersquatting case under the UDRP or the ACPA. You may be entitled to recover your domain name through a cybersquatting case under the UDRP or the ACPA.
More on this story can be found here;