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Weitzman v. Lead Networks R&R

Weitzman v. Lead Networks R&R

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Published by: propertyintangible on Nov 16, 2010
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UNITEDSTATESDISTRICT
COURT
FOR
THE
EASTERNDISTRICT
OF
VIRGINIA
AlexandriaDivision
CI
•*«
pi
WARREN
WEITZMAN,
Plaintiff,
v.
LEADNETWORKS
DOMAINSPVT.,
LTD.,
Defendant.
REPORT
ANDRECOMMENDATION
ThismatterisbeforetheCourtonPlaintiffsMotionforDefaultJudgmentagainstDefendant,LeadNetworksDomainsPvt.Ltd.anditsdomainnamesbelis.com,daffy.com,
epsun.com,fivebars.com,gunit.com,helmsley.com,livs.com,mascaron,com,oncologics.com,
pirreli.com,profesia.com,reabok.com,remolacha.com,satz.com,sunlet.com,vespas.com,
Vitallium.com,zire.com,
andredroof.org1
("collectively
known
as
"DomainNames"),pursuant
toFed.R.Civ.P.55(b)(2).(Dkt.No.16.)AfterDefendantfailedtoanswerorfilearesponsivepleadingtoeithertheComplaintor
Plaintiffs
MotionforDefaultJudgmentandaftera
representativeforDefendantfailedtoappearatthehearingonApril30,2010,theundersignedMagistrateJudgetookthismatterunderadvisement.Uponconsideration
of
theComplaint,PlaintiffsMotionforDefaultJudgment,supplementalbriefings,andthesupportingaffidavits,
theundersignedMagistrateJudgemakesthefollowingfindingsandrecommendsthatdefault
judgmentbeenteredagainstDefendant.
CaseNo.l:09-cv-01141
(CMH/IDD)
1
Althoughthedomain
names
validas.com,condensate.com,sonystyles.com,
andviao.com
were
originally
included
intheComplaint,Plaintiff
Tiled
MotionstoDismissandNotices
of
VoluntaryDismissalsfortheaforementioned
domainnames.(Dkt.Nos.9,10,27,and28respectively).
The
HonorableClaudeM.Hiltondismissedthedomain
namesvalidas.comandcondensate.com,withprejudiceonMay03,2010(Dkt.No.20),andsonystyles.comandviao.com,withoutprejudiceonMay17,2010.(Dkt.No.29.)
Case 1:09-cv-01141-CMH-IDD Document 32 Filed 09/24/10 Page 1 of 17
 
I.
INTRODUCTION
Mr.WarrenWeitzman("Plaintiff')filedaComplaintonOctober09,2009,seeking
declaratoryjudgmentandreliefundertheAnti-CybersquattingConsumerProtectionAct,15
U.S.C.§1125(d)
("ACPA"),
based
on
Defendant's
tortiousinterference
with
acontractual
relationship,conversion,andallegedbad-faithuse
of
thefollowingdomainnamesbelis.com,
condensate.com,daffy.com,epsun.com,fivebars.com,gunit.com,helmsley.com,livs.com,
mascaron,com,oncologics.com,pirreli.com,profesia.com,reabok.com,remolacha.com,
satz.com,sonystyles.com,sunlet.com,validas.com,vespas.com,vitallium.com,viao.com,
zire.com,andredroof.org.(Compl.Dkt.No.1.)TheACPAgrantstrademarkownersaremedy
against"cybersquatting".Cybersquattingiswhenatrademarkownerclaimsthatanotherparty
registeredorusedtheirtrademarkasadomainnamewiththebadfaithintent
of
profitingfrom
thesaleoruse
of
thedomainname.2
PlaintiffhasmovedfordefaultjudgmentinaccordancewiththeACPA,butdoesnotseek
the
additional
damages
requested
in
its
Complaint.3
(PL's
Mem.
Supp.
Default
J.at
3.)
Therefore,theCourtneednotaddressthequestion
of
whether
Plaintiffs
claimbasedon
2
See
Corsair
Memory,
Inc.
v.
Corsair7.com,
2008U.S.
Dist.
LEXIS
110067
at
*20
(N.D.
Cal.
Nov.
3,2008)
(quoting
15
U.S.C.
§1l25(d)(l)(B)(i)(VI)todefine
cybersquatting
as:
"Offerto
transfer,sell,
or
otherwise
assign
the
domain
nametothemarkowneroranythird
party
for
financial
gain
withouthavingused,orhavinganintentto
use,the
domain
name
inthe
bona
fide
offering
of
any
goods
or
services,
orthe
person's
prior
conduct
indicating
a
pattern
of
such
conduct.");
seealso
Mallei.
Inc.
v.
Barbie-Club.com,
310
F.3d
293,295(2d
Cir.
2002)
(explaining
Congress'senactment
of
the
ACPA
asasupplementtothefederaltrademarkstatuteinordertocombatbad-faith
registrationoruse
of
domainnames).
3
Although
the
Complaint
seeks
declaratory
judgment
and
statescauses
of
action
for
bothtortiousinterferencewith
a
contractualrelationship(Count
IV)and
conversion
(Count
V),the
Motion
for
DefaultJudgment
onlyseeksjudgment
against
DefendantundertheACPA.Dkt.No.17,PL'sMem.Supp.DefaultJ.at3("TheCourtwillnotethat,
pursuant
tothe
remediesavailable
for
an
in
rem
action
brought
pursuant
totheACPA,no
damages
are
sought.
The
Plaintiff,uponreceipt
of
judgmentinthismatter,requeststhattheremainingclaimsbedismissed,without
prejudice.")
2
Case 1:09-cv-01141-CMH-IDD Document 32 Filed 09/24/10 Page 2 of 17
 
declaratoryjudgment(CountI),tortiousinterferencewithcontract(CourtIV),andconversion
(CountV)meritrelief,orwhethertheComplaintsufficientlystatesaclaimforthosecauses
of
action.Consequently,PlaintiffrequeststhisCourttotransfertheregistrar
of
theDomainNames
toPlaintiffortoaregistrar
of
PlaintiffschoosingtoberegisteredinPlaintiffsname.(PL's
Mem.Supp.DefaultJ.at4.)
A.
Jurisdiction
and
Venue
Rule55
of
theFederalRules
of
CivilProcedureprovidesfortheentry
of
default
judgmentwhen
"a
partyagainstwhomajudgmentforaffirmative
relief
issoughthasfailedto
pleadorotherwisedefend."Thecourtmusthavebothsubjectmatterandpersonaljurisdiction
overadefaultingpartybeforeitcanrenderadefaultjudgment.ThisCourthassubjectmatter
jurisdictionoverthiscasepursuantto15U.S.C.§1121and28U.S.C.
§§1331,
1337,and1338
becausethiscasearisesunderthefederalTrademarkAct
of
1946,15U.S.C.§§1051,
etseq.
ThisCourtalsohas
inrem
jurisdictionoverthedefaultingDefendant'sdomainnamein
accordancewith15U.S.C.§1125(d)(2)(A).Inthatregard,Plaintiffisunabletoobtainpersonal
jurisdictionoverDefendantoranyotherpartywhowouldhavebeenadefendantinacivilaction
undertheACPAbecausetheDefendantislocatedinIndiaanddoesnothavetherequisite
minimumcontactswiththeUnitedStatestowarrantappropriatepersonaljurisdiction.Insuchacase,15
U.S.C.
§1125(d)(2)(A)allowsatrademarkownerto"[fjilean
in
rem
civilactionagainst
adomainnameinthejudicialdistrictinwhichthedomainnameregistrar,domainnameregistry,orotherdomainnameauthoritythatregisteredorassignedthedomainnameislocatedif:
Case 1:09-cv-01141-CMH-IDD Document 32 Filed 09/24/10 Page 3 of 17

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