According to Vegasinc.com, the dispute over the domain name Switch.net which was won on Namejet.com for $3,700 on November 18th which had a UDRP filed against in 2 days after acquisition by a Swiss company, is now the subject of a federal lawsuit filed under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
“Switch Communications Group LLC, operator of a big data center in Las Vegas, sued a Canadian man on Wednesday in what it calls a trademark dispute.”
“Switch charged in the suit that Dorian Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia, infringed on Switch’s trademarks when Banks registered the switch.net Internet domain name last month.”
“Besides the trademark claim, the lawsuit also alleges that Banks violated the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act because Banks had a “bad faith intent to profit from registering, trafficking in or using a domain name or mark that is either identical or confusingly similar to a distinctive mark” or a famous mark.”
“Switch charged in the lawsuit that after registering the switch.net name on Oct. 15, Banks contacted the Las Vegas Switch company and offered to sell it the domain name for about $3,700.”
“While plaintiff evaluated the offer to negotiate the purchase of the domain name, defendant threatened to sell the domain name to another entity if plaintiff did not hurry and open escrow to buy the domain name,” charged the lawsuit filed in federal court in Las Vegas by attorneys at the Las Vegas office of the law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP.
“Switch in the suit asks the court for a restraining order requiring Banks to stop using Switch Communications’ names and trademarks and that the domain name registrar transfer the switch.net name to Switch Communications.”
“Banks, in an interview, denied the allegations of trademark infringement and cybersquatting.”
“He said the switch.net domain name was locked down after the auction because of a protest by a third company in Switzerland called SWITCH http://www.switch.ch/, which offers services to Swiss universities and Internet users.”
“Banks said that after the Swiss company objected to his registration of the switch.net name, he offered to sell it to the Las Vegas company for what he paid for it.”
“That way, he said, the Las Vegas company could try to gain control of the name and he could quit worrying about the dispute.”
“Asked about being branded in a lawsuit as a trademark infringer and cybersquatter, Banks said: “It really bothers me.””
The story which was pretty strange from the start where the auction winner which was initially facing just a UDRP and potential loss of the domain, is now facing $100K fine plus the costs of defending a federal lawsuit which can be quite substantial.