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Verizon wins historic cybersquatting case

Latest update : 2008-12-24

A California federal court has awarded US telecom firm Verizon 33.15 million dollars in the largest cybersquatting judgment ever against OnlineNIC.

AFP - A California court has awarded US telecom firm Verizon 33.15 million dollars in the largest cybersquatting judgment ever, the company said Wednesday.

Verizon said the award was made by a federal court in the Northern District of California in a default ruling against OnlineNIC for unlawfully registering at least 663 domain names that were identical or similar to Verizon trademarks.

Verizon had filed a case against OnlineNIC, a San Francisco-based Internet domain registration company, claiming it had tried to take advantage of Verizon customers by using Web names easily confused with legitimate Verizon names.

Verizon said the court concluded that OnlineNIC had acted in bad-faith and calculated an award based on 50,000 dollars per domain name.

It said the court issued a default ruling in Verizon's favor after OnlineNIC failed to appear in court.

"This case should send a clear message and serve to deter cybersquatters who continue to run businesses for the primary purpose of misleading consumers," Verizon vice president Sarah Deutsch said in a statement.

"Verizon intends to continue to take all steps necessary to protect our brand and consumers from Internet frauds and abuses," she added.

Verizon said it has won several similar cases previously but the judgment against OnlineNIC was the largest ever in a cybersquatting case.

Date created : 2008-12-24