The .ME registry just sold toyota.me for the whopping price of $90,025.
Not only is it the highest price ever paid for a .me it is agoing to be a litigation nightmare for the new owner.
We all expect that Toyota.me will draw a federal lawsuit or a WIPO action in the near future.
If Toyota waits say a year and then files a federal lawsuit against the registrant, they will ask for damages including all money the registrant made from use of the domain.
My question is then, why not sue the registry as well?
I mean the registry is putting $90K in their pocket from the sale of this domain.
The registrant will probably make less than $100 in a year from parking the domain.
So if the trademark holder wants to go after the “deep pockets” as we say in the legal game, that would seem to be the registry.
A couple of weeks a ago a court seemed to indicate that a registrar might be liable for allowing its client to register a large number of trademark infringing domains through an automated registration process. The case Verizon California, Inc. v. Navigation Catalyst Systems, Inc., highlights some of the potential liablity that registrars might face in the future.
I know that the registry response would be something along the lines, that Toyota could have applied for their .me name in the trademark period and by not doing so the domain became available to the general public.
Yet registrants of such trademark names in the past for new extension have lost their domain using the same argument (see the Narmia.mobi case).
So the courts have long held that just because a trademark holder does not take advantage of the trademark period for a new extension and register their domain, does not entitle anyone else to do it.
So again I ask, If the registrants of these trademarked domains are going to get sued, why not the registry?
If I was an attorney for Toyota, i would be suing to get the name from the registrant and suing the .me registry for the 90K back as well.
The registry is no more entitled than a registrant from making money on a trademarked domain.
If I was the attorney for toyto