Web Developer Wins Internet Domain Case Amid Ongoing Suit

Keep up with the latest developments and legal issues in the telecommunications and emerging technology sectors, with exclusive access to a comprehensive collection of telecommunications law news,...

By Alexis Kramer

A web developer who sued over the filing of a domain name arbitration complaint has won that arbitration, leaving the fate of the lawsuit up in the air.

Domain name registrants who don’t prevail in arbitration proceedings can file a civil action under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), to show that their use of a domain name is lawful. In this case, the registrant went to court before the arbitrator made a decision, protesting that its domain name was locked down.

A panel at the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center held May 16 that VirtualPoint Inc. didn’t register the domain name fasttrak.com in bad faith because FastTrak, which filed the arbitration complaint, didn’t exist at the time of the registration ( FastTrak v. VirtualPoint Inc. , WIPO, No. D2017-0652, 5/16/17 ).

The decision restores VirtualPoint’s control of its domain. The panel declined to rule that athletic training app provider FastTrak filed its complaint in bad faith.

VirtualPoint sued FastTrak in federal court after the FASTTRAK F mark owner brought its domain name arbitration complaint in order to get control of the domain ( VirtualPoint v. FastTrak, M.D. Fla., No. 5:17-cv-00175, response due 6/7/17 ). According to VirtualPoint, the domain name was “locked beyond Plaintiff’s full enjoyment of the benefits of registration” due to the pending arbitration proceeding.

It is unclear whether the parties will continue litigating the matter. VirtualPoint sought $100,000 in damages for FastTrak’s alleged bad-faith initiation of the arbitration proceeding, according to the complaint filed April 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Attorneys for the parties didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at aKramer@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bna.com

For More Information

Full text of the domain name arbitration ruling at http://src.bna.com/pe1.

Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Request Tech & Telecom on Bloomberg Law