The Empower.com cybersquatting lawsuit was upsetting to me as a domain investor. Not only did the Defendants own Empower.com before the Plaintiff’s Empower Retirement brand existed, but one of the Defendants was a company called Empower Geographics (the other was the principal at that company). Put simply, it felt like the well funded retirement brand was bullying the smaller domain registrant who had put his domain name up for sale because they didn’t like the price to buy the asset.
James Iles published an article on Tuesday after Jamie Zoch informed him that Empower.com changed hands. The domain name transferred to CSC under Whois privacy, a corporate domain name management firm used by many large companies, including Empower Retirement. James speculated that the domain name was acquired by the retirement brand.
If you visit Empower.com now, you can see the Empower Retirement logo, confirming the company secured the domain name.
A new court filing on CourtListener.com seems to indicate the case was likely settled:
STIPULATION OF DISMISSAL
Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Plaintiffs GreatWest Life & Annuity Insurance Company, and Empower Retirement, LLC and Defendants
Empower Geographics, Inc., and Alex Machinis, by and through their undersigned counsel, hereby
stipulate that the above-captioned action is voluntarily dismissed with prejudice.
I reached out to the Defendant and to John Berryhill, an attorney who represented the Defendant, but I did not receive a comment from either. I would imagine (and hope) that Empower Retirement paid a substantial amount of money for the valuable Empower.com domain name in lieu of continuing the litigation.