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Did Navigation Catalyst Systems Get Off Easy in Verizon's $100 Million Plus Lawsuit?

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Enrico Schaefer

As is being reported in the article Verizon v Navigation Catalyst Cybersquatting Lawsuit Settled: NCS Continues to Cybersquat Trademark Protected Domains, Navigation Catalyst Systems (NCS) has settled the well publicized cybersquatting lawsuit brought against it by Verizon. The terms of the settlement are simple and straight forward, amounting to little more than an agreement by NCS to no longer register domains similar to Verizon's trademarks again. No money was apparently paid by NCS as part of the resolution. Essentially, NCS will enter Verizon's trademarks into is scrubbing software to ensure that no more typos or derivations of those marks will be registered moving forward.

Considering that Verizon had over $100 million dollars in statutory damages as leverage under the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act (ACPA), one has to wonder if NCS got off easy in this one. The court had already granted a preliminary injunction against NCS based on its finding that Verizon would likely succeed on the merits for bad faith registration of domains under the ACPA, which put them in line for a solid statutory damages argument.

It is unclear how much NCS's counterclaims against Verizon for Verizon's DNS wildcarding practices which clearly infringed on 21 of Navigation Catalyst's registered trademarks. There was nothing in the settlement which addressed the alleged counter-claims.

The domain dispute blog on our web site raises several important questions concerning NCS's automated domain registration software:

  • Does that software target high traffic web sites, and thus web sites which are likely trademark protected?
  • What percentage of domain registered are dropped during the Add Grace Period (AGP)?
  • How does the software register domains which clearly infringe on famous trademarks, which otherwise have no possible dictionary meaning?
  • Is the policy of transferring domains upon threat letter or UDRP proceeding really jsut a way to profit off trademark protected domains until someone notices.
  • Is NCS business model 9software) legitimate or really de facto evidence of bad faith cybersquatting.
  • How much do NCS's business practices hurt the domainer community as a whole, and the business of domaining?

You can read the entire article here as well as further analysis and reference materials for the NCS/Verizon lawsuit on the domain dispute and cybersquatting blog.

By Enrico Schaefer, Attorney & Advisor: Protecting International Business Interests. More blog posts from Enrico Schaefer can also be read here.

Related topics: Cybercrime, Cybersquatting, Domain Names, Law

 
   

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