05 Aug 2008
The US district court in southern California recently granted an injunction against Navigation Catalyst (nofollow) and their bulk registrar Basic Fusion (nofollow). Navigation Catalyst is definitely among the larger domain companies and had engaged in heavy ‘domain tasting’, the registration of domain names to test them for traffic.
This case is significant because it is the first time that a large domaining organization lost a legal battle on the grounds of ACPA. I could easily see publicly traded companies (Marchex?) in the cross hairs soon. It is also the first time that an injunction has been granted against a registrar.
However, it would appear that they didn’t really follow this practice closely. A look at the list of domains they own (submitted by Verizon as an exhibit) demonstrate rampant cybersquatting. I see hundreds of typos of Abercrombie, Bank of America, Cingular and Disney among many others.
Navigation Catalyst also holds a number of valuable more than just that of registrar/customer.
The injunction wasn’t all that significant. It just prevents both parties from registering typos of several of Verizon’s brand names. However, to quote Eric Goldman:
it’s clear from the strongly worded opinion that Verizon will get paid if the case gets that far