Verizon Changes Tactics: Files UDRP Complaints Instead of Lawsuits

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Verizon is known to fiercely protect it’s trademarks, and they’ve done so using the US Court system in the past. In 2008 Verizon filed lawsuits against companies like Navigation Catalyst and OnlineNic citing the Lanham Act (cybersquatting ).

With its litigious reputation, I was surprised to see that the company opted to file UDRP disputes at the World Intellectual Property Organization, in lieu of filing lawsuits. As of the present time, Verizon has at least two UDRP complaints pending and a recent victory for domain names that include (among others):

  • verizoin.com
  • verizonswireless.com
  • verizonwieless.com
  • verizoon.com
  • verizopn.net
  • versizon.net
  • vewrizon.net
  • virazon.com
  • verion.com

Filing a lawsuit can be an expensive endeavor, and while federal law dictates that penalties up to $100k for each domain name may be given, the fact that respondents do not appear to be US-based may have been the rationale for using this mediation procedure rather than filing suit.

As mentioned above, Verizon won a $30+ million default judgment against OnlineNic, although it is unclear if they have been able to, or will be able to collect on this amount. Perhaps they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not worth the time and/or effort to chase after cybersquatters in other countries. I really don’t know, but whatever the case is, Verizon remains on the hunt for potentially infringing domain names.

It is surprising to see Verizon filing UDRPs but it might make the most sense given the situation.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Just a point of clarification: the UDRP is an arbitration process, not a mediation. And I think you are absolutely right, given the expense of going to court, and the likelihood that they’ll never be able to really collect a judgment from the defendant to make it worthwhile, UDRPs make a lot more sense, particularly for the very obvious typosquatting that you highlight above.

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