Dell Accuses Domain Tasters Of Counterfeiting

    November 29, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Forget about trademark infringement; computer manufacturer Dell wants to make a statement in its lawsuit against domain registrars.

Almost 1,100 domains with similarities to Dell trademarks out of an estimated 1.8 million resembling a swath of corporate America raised enough concern with Dell that the company filed a lawsuit against BelgiumDomains, CapitolDomains, and DomainDoorman in October for their actions.

The Washington Post said the lawsuit was unsealed recently after being filed in October. Dell believes the three registrars and a host of shell companies made millions off web traffic misdirected by wrongly spelled domains.

Unlike similar lawsuits, Dell’s action has a couple of unique points. The report cited Dell’s accusation that the companies engaged in a round-robin of domain tasting, passing domains from one company to the next, in a rapid succession that enabled them to keep performing domains available indefinitely without ever paying for them.

The other point comes from Dell’s contention that the actions of the defendants amounted to counterfeiting. University of Miami professor Michael Froomkin, publisher of ICANN Watch, said in the report this charge was a first in domain squatting cases.

A successful counterfeiting charge would entitle Dell to claim damages of up to a million dollars per violation, a substantial increase over the federal limit of $100,000 per domain infringement.

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