Verizon receives record payout

02 09 2009

The US Federal Court has awarded USD$33 million to Verizon Communications Inc, as a result of OnlineNIC registering and monetising domain names which were found to have infringed trademarks belonging to Verizon.

The Court found OnlineNIC to have registered numerous domain names in bad faith, in an attempt to mislead and take advantage of potential Verizon customers.  The Court concluded that OnlineNIC’s behavour was in “blatant and wilful violation” of the US Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, by registering approximately 663 domain names that infringed 26 Verizon trademarks.

Among the 663 domain names registered in bad faith by OnlineINC were, and The Court awarded the costs and damages at USD$50,000.00 per domain name registered by OnlineINC, which was “confusingly similar” or identical to Verizon trademarks.

Vice president and associate general counsel for Verizon, Sarah Deutsch said:

“We hope the Court’s decision goes a long way toward protecting consumers from becoming targets of Internet abuses and frauds”.

The judgment is not likely to have any serious impact on the .au space, and proceedings brought against domain name owners for trademark breaches.

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