CLBR Featured Segment:
David Weslow on Domain Theft
Domain theft is a growing problem, as domain names can be easily transferred to overseas registrars and sold. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has received more than 140 complaints about domain-name thefts in the past 20 months. At least 15 cases seeking the return of domain names were filed in U.S. courts last year, up from five in 2013 and 10 in 2012
Greg Stranahan, a director of Acme Billing, a domain theft victim, explained:
Domain name theft is a serious and growing form of intellectual property theft with potentially devastating consequences for American businesses. E-commerce companies like Acme can suffer serious financial consequences from domain name theft because the theft disables the company’s e-commerce website and deprives the company of a significant asset.
The escalating problem led DomainGang to call for a “National Punch a Domain Thief Day“.
(1) Cybercriminals Are Misappropriating Businesses’ Web Addresses; (2) Domain name theft: Knowing where to turn; (3) How a Domain Name is Hijacked and How to Protect it; (4) How to Prevent a Domain Name Theft; (5) How To Recover From A Domain Name Hijacking; (6) When Hackers Steal A Web Address, Few Owners Ever Get It Back
Wiley Rein’s David Weslow has fought back, bringing domain thieves into Virginia’s rocket docket court. In October 2014, the Washington-based lawyer filed the first federal lawsuit of its kind on behalf of an e-commerce company that had a number of Internet domain names stolen by computer hackers based in China. The lawsuit, Acme Billing Company v. John Doe, includes claims under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. It is also the first known court case in which the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is being used to attempt to regain possession of stolen domain names. His latest complaint is below.
David focuses his practice on litigation and transactions involving trademarks, copyrights, and domain names, and related product and service development and distribution issues. A former software and web developer, he regularly handles cutting-edge issues and disputes involving law and technology.
David has developed particular expertise helping businesses navigate Internet legal issues and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) related issues, and is the author of BNA’s Guide to the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. He is heavily involved with generic top-level domains (gTLDs) including, representation of gTLD applicants and registries, counseling clients on brand protection programs to address new gTLDs, and representation of clients in over a dozen gTLD objection proceedings.
David was named one of DC’s “Rising Stars” for Intellectual Property Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine (2013, 2014), and The Legal 500 US 2012 recognized him for his practice “relating to online and emerging technology.” He is also frequently interviewed by media outlets from around the world for commentary on intellectual property, Internet, and technology law issues, and is a frequent lecturer on these issues.