In the ongoing dispute for Heidi Powell.com we wrote a post a few weeks ago where John Berryhill discussed domains as property.
John has been actively posting on Namepros lately with regards to the battle for HeidiPowell.com. The Grandma vs the Fitness Trainer has been getting a lot of exposure. Joseph Peterson from Slanted.com has been trying to help shine as much light on the topic as possible. Others have chimed in such as StrategicRevenue.com.
John pointed out the specifics of the HeidiPowell.com case and why again domain investors should be wary of domains as property.
Well John posted an update today where he mentioned that Grandma Powell is now arguing that domains are not property.
From the latest filing:
THE HEIDIPOWELL.COM DOMAIN NAME IS NOT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THAT CAN BE SEIZED AND SOLD BY THE TRUSTEE
A. Virginia Law Applies And Under Virginia Law, Domain Names Are Contractual Rights And Not Property
As the memorandum provided to the Trustee by Arizona Heidi’s counsel (hereafter the “AZ Heidi Memo”) acknowledges, “‘property’ and ‘interest in property’ are creatures of statelaw.” Barnhill v. Johnson, 503 U.S. 393, 398 (1992) (citations omitted); In re Bledsoe, 569 F.3d 1106, 1113 (9th Cir. 2009); In re Dameron, 155 F.3d 718, 722 (4th Cir. 1998).
Under Washington’s choice-of-law rules, Virginia law applies in determining whether the domain name is property. Virginia law clearly establishes that domain names are not property.
i. Under Washington’s choice-of-law rules, Virginia law governs.
Regardless of whether the legal issue is a question of contract or property law, under Washington’s choice-of law rules, Virginia law governs whether the domain name is or is not