Man loses $360,000, goes to court over stolen domain name
Do you know that your domain can be stolen even after registration? Check out the story below of a man who paid $360k just for a single domain , 81.com only to have it stolen afterwards.
A man who says he paid $360,000 to buy the domain 81.com alleges it has been stolen.
Sami Debizet filed an in rem lawsuit (pdf) against the domain in U.S. District Court in Virginia in an effort to recover the domain.
According to Debizet, he paid $360,000 to acquire the domain on May 7, 2013.
Two number .com domains are extremely rare and sales are infrequent, but this domain is probably worth a lot more than $360,000 today. NameBio shows just three two-number sales since 2014 and they are all for over $1.7 million. 2013 was before the big Chinese surge in short-domain investing.
One thing that’s troubling about the case is that it appears this domain has been out of the Plaintiff’s control for many years, and perhaps only in his control for a very brif period. Historical Whois records at DomainTools show the following timeline:
May 9, 2013: Japanese owner, domain at Melbourne IT
July 11, 2013: Domains By Proxy, domain at GoDaddy
September 13, 2013: Chinese owner, domain at eName
The Whois records show various Chinese owners since 2013.
Debizet’s declaration might shed more light on this, but it has not been add to the court system yet.
If anything, it seems like it will be difficult to argue common law trademark rights in a domain that was only in the owner’s control for a brief period of time six years ago.
Greenberg & Lieberman is representing the Plaintiff.
Comment by editorial team
We advise everyone to be careful as nothing is impossible especially in the virtual world of the web.
1. When registering a domain, make sure to search out a. Reputable domain registrar.
2. Be sure to confirm your domain by clicking on the verification link usually sent upon domain registration.
3. Make sure that your domain is under *Registrar lock* to prevent unauthorized transfers.
4. Keep a strong password in your accounts.
Avoid what you can avoid while it could still be avoided.
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