OnlineNIC Ordered To Pay Verizon $31 Million
Verizon alleged in a lawsuit brought earlier this year that OnlineNIC had registered 633 domain names like accountverizonwireless.com, bestverizon.net and verizoncellularphone.com that were designed to confuse people into thinking the Web sites were affiliated with Verizon. The telecom further alleged that OnlineNIC profited from these sites by serving ads for goods or services offered by Verizon rivals.
OnlineNIC did not respond in court to the allegations.
Judge Jeremy Fogel of the federal district of northern California ruled in Verizon's favor and ordered the registrar to pay $50,000 per violation. "Defendant has registered hundreds of domain names that are designed to attract web users seeking to access Verizon's legitimate Web sites," Fogel wrote. "Defendant has refused to alter its behavior, and its bad faith is further evidenced by its machinations to avoid detection through the use of fictitious business entities, shell corporations, and kiting of its domain names."
Fogel also ordered all of the domain names transferred to Verizon and issued an injunction banning OnlineNIC from registering any other names similar to the telecom.
Verizon has brought other recent cybersquatting lawsuits, and has won injunctions in at least three previous cases.