November 27, 2007

Bodog seeks new judgement in internet domain name dispute

In its domain name court dispute in the state of Washington, Bodog is arguing that internet domain names are not property which can be seized by any court.

Lawyers for the company have suggested there is no previously established case law in the state which permits internet domain names to be seized under Washington law.

Bodog lost its domain names following legal action from a company called First technology, which Bodog insists is a “patent troll”.

Defence lawyer James Nguyen, a partner at internet legal specialists Foley & Lardner, has suggested that the court in Washington should look to the law established in Virginia which holds that domain names should not be subject to seizure.

The defence team also argues that Bodog domain names cannot be transferred, because those names could not be used by third parties without infringing on Bodog trademarks. The Bodog motion argues that if the court does not have the power to permit seizure of trademarks, “it likewise should not have the power to seize or transfer domain names which contain those trademarks”.

Bodog insists that the company named in the First Technology action, Bodog Entertainment Group SA, is a “defunct ex-supplier of data entry and domain management services”.

Calvin Ayre, Bodog founder, said: “This is a groundbreaking case in the muddy waters of internet law, and we are confident that we have many aspects in our favour to potentially solidify some clarity on this issue and our domains returned to us.”