ICANN Wins a Round in Wait List Case

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2003-11-14 Print this article Print

A federal judge denies a preliminary injunction that would have prevented ICANN and VeriSign from moving ahead on service for back ordering domain names.

The overseer of the Internets domain names gained a legal victory this week in a case challenging its approval of a Web address back-order service being created by VeriSign Inc. A federal judge earlier this week denied a preliminary injunction against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. ICANN has given preliminary approval to VeriSigns plans to launch a wait list service, which would allow those seeking a particular domain name to pay for the right to claim it in the event the current registration expires. The plaintiffs in the case—registrars Dotster Inc., Go Daddy Software Inc and eNom Inc.—were seeking to prevent ICANN from completing its approval of VeriSigns service. VeriSign, of Mountain View, Calif. is the registry that manages Web addresses in the two most popular domain, .com and .net.
An ICANN spokeswoman on Friday said that ICANN and VeriSign are continuing to negotiate terms of the service and that no date has been set for its launch.
The three registrar in the lawsuit against ICANN have competing wait list services and had claimed in seeking a preliminary injunction that ICANNs approval of VeriSigns service was anti-competitive and violated ICANNs agreements with registrars. U.S. District Court Judge John F. Walter disagreed, ruling that "the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate either the possibility of irreparable injury or that the balance of hardships tips sharply in their favor in his ruling." The case, filed in July, is expected to go to trial in the first quarter of 2004.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for eWEEK.com, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for eWEEK.com. Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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