Verizon wins $450,000 domain-squatting judgement

Industry Information 09 Jan 2024 11:23:57 AM By:DN platform editor
Abstract:

Recently, the US telecommunications giant Verizon secured a significant legal victory in a domain name dispute through its subsidiary, Verizon Trademark Services LLC. The company successfully obtained a total of $450,000 in statutory

US telecommunications giant Verizon recently secured a significant legal victory in a domain name dispute through its subsidiary, Verizon Trademark Services LLC. The company successfully obtained a total of $450,000 in statutory damages, with each domain name being awarded $50,000.

The defendants in the lawsuit were Verizon Trademark Services LLC and Matt McMan. The case revolved around a unique and intriguing method employed by the defendants for domain name registration. According to the court's opinion, VTS LLC, under the exclusive control of the defendant Matt McMan, registered multiple infringing domain names and trade names as part of a scheme to deceive consumers, damage the VERIZON trademark, and engage in extortion. This behavior led to Verizon filing a lawsuit in the US District Court.

Verizon wins $450,000 domain-squatting judgement

In early April 2023, Verizon discovered that the defendants, including VTS LLC, were registering domain names derived from the Verizon trademark or containing it. In response, Verizon sent cease-and-desist letters opposing the unauthorized use of its trademark. However, the defendants not only failed to cease but also intensified their efforts, registering more domain names containing the VERIZON trademark.

VTS LLC drafted a "complaint" accusing Verizon of misleading consumers and attempted to force Verizon to sell or license these trademarks by sending this document multiple times to the plaintiff and government officials. Faced with Verizon's resistance, the defendants continued to register more domain names containing the VERIZON trademark.

In an absentia judgment, Verizon successfully won compensation for nine domain names, with each domain being awarded $50,000 in statutory damages. This included the domain names VerizonTrademark.com and Verizon.com.co. The court ruled to transfer these domain names to Verizon.

This judgment holds significant importance in safeguarding trademark rights and combating malicious domain name registrations. Verizon has expressed its commitment to taking measures to protect its brand and user rights, preventing unlawful actions by malicious entities.

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Verizon wins $450,000 domain-squatting judgement