Verizon Wins $33M Cybersquatting Decision
San Francisco domain registrar OnlineNIC fails to show in court and is slapped with a $33.15 million judgment for bad faith registrations of Verizon-related domains. A judge rules that OnlineNIC's efforts were designed to attract Web users who were seeking to access Verizon's legitimate Web sites. OnlineNIC has registered more than 900,000 domain names similar to Web sites maintained by Google, MySpace, Yahoo and retailers such as Wal-Mart.A U.S. district court has granted Verizon a $33.15 million judgment against domain registrar OnlineNIC for bad faith registrations of Verizon-related domains. OnlineNIC, based in San Francisco, registered 663 domain names that were identical or similar to Verizon trademarks. In a Dec. 24 decision, Judge Jeremy Fogel of the California Northern District Court ordered OnlineNIC to pay $50,000 per violation.
"[OnlineNIC] has registered hundreds of domain names that are designed to attract users seeking to access Verizon's legitimate Web sites," Fogel wrote in his decision. "[OnlineNIC] has refused to alter its behavior, and its bad faith is further evidenced by its machinations to avoid detection through the use of fictitious business entities, shell corporations and kiting of its domain names."