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If You Lose a Judgment and Don’t Pay, Your Domain Names Can be Seized

Office Depot won a judgment against John Zuccarini under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999 (15 U.S.C. Section 1125(d)) based on Zuccarini’s bad-faith registration of the domain name <offic-depot.com>, which was confusingly similar to <officedepot.com>.

Office Depot was unable to collect on its monetary judgment against Zuccarini, so it assigned that judgment to DS Holdings (“DSH”). DSH sought to levy against 190 <.com> domain names owned by Zuccarini and for which VeriSign controls the registry (a receiver having been assigned to auction off the domain names). Zuccarini (representing himself!) argued that DSH should be required to levy upon the domain names where their respective registrars are located, rather than at VeriSign’s single location.

The United State Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held (Office Depot v. Zuccarini) that DSH could levy on the domain names either at VeriSign’s location (the Northern District of California) or at the registrars’ locations.

What we should learn from this case:

  • Cybersquatting – especially when the victim is a large company – is a bad idea.
  • Representing yourself in a litigation or its appeal – especially if you are not a litigator – is a bad idea.
  • Domain names are intangible property.
  • Domain name can be seized to satisfy a judgment.

Check out all posts about cybersquatting.

Dana H. Shultz, Attorney at Law +1 510-547-0545 dana [at] danashultz [dot] com
This blog does not provide legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer directly.

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Litigation

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