ICANN, Verisign Settle Lawsuit

Turf war is over, for now, as both sides have decided to play nice with each other.

A settlements been reached in a federal lawsuit that VeriSign filed claiming that an Internet oversight agency had overstepped its boundaries.

The settlement must be approved by the boards of VeriSign Inc., a company whose operation is fundamental to the Internet, and ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), which intends to seek public comment first. The approval process should take a month.

ICANNs board voted 12-0 on Monday to tentatively accept the settlement terms. Board member Michael Palage abstained, due to a potential conflict of interest, ICANN said in a statement.

The lawsuit VeriSign filed last year against ICANN concerns a turf war between ICANN, considered the leading Internet authority, and private businesses known as registries whose operation is fundamental to the Internet. New registry services, like VeriSigns "Site Finder" at the lawsuits heart, helped the company monopolize innovations and needed to be strictly controlled, ICANN members claimed.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about the VeriSign/ICANN litigation.

VeriSign and other registries balked at more ICANN control because it took ICANN "many months" to make decisions, and the Internets growth was stagnating as a result. Registries felt more ICANN control would only make the situation worse, said a source familiar with the litigations give and take.

As part of the settlement, ICANN promises to decide on certain VeriSign requests in 90 days.

VeriSign filed its lawsuit against ICANN in February 2004 in a U.S. District Court in southern California. The ensuing months of "tension and litigation between VeriSign and ICANN … have adversely affected the broader Internet community," states the ICANN settlement resolution adopted Monday.

/zimages/1/28571.gifVeriSign adds to content plans with Moreover. Click here to read more.

"VeriSign has hit the reset button on the relationship here," said VeriSign Senior Vice President Mark McLaughlin. "We have put past difference behind us."

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