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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,032

    Vulcan Golf vs. Google, Oversee, Sedo, Dotster, iREIT, and John Does I-X

    In checking the PACER system for updates on the Verizon vs. iREIT lawsuit (nothing since last checked), I came across another lawsuit:

    United States District Court
    Northern District of Illinois - CM/ECF LIVE, Ver 3.0 (Chicago)
    CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 1:07-cv-03371


    Vulcan Golf, LLC v. Google Inc. et al
    Assigned to: Honorable Charles P. Kocoras
    Demand: $1,000,000
    Cause: 15:1051 Trademark Infringement

    Date Filed: 06/15/2007
    Jury Demand: Plaintiff
    Nature of Suit: 470 Racketeer/Corrupt Organization
    Jurisdiction: Federal Question
    .
    Defendant: Google Inc.
    Defendant: Oversee.Net
    Defendant: Sedo LLC
    Defendant: Dotster, Inc.also known as Revenuedirect.com
    Defendant: Internet Reit, Inc. also known as Ireit, Inc.
    Defendant: John Does I-X

    Should prove very interesting.

    I tried to print out the Statement of Claim, but it said:

    "EXHIBITS NOT LEGIBLE. TO VIEW THE DOCUMENT YOU MUST OBTAIN THE CASE FILE AT THE CLERK’S OFFICE. THE CLERK’S OFFICE IS OPEN FROM 8:30 AM. to 4:30 P.M. MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY EXCEPT FOR LEGAL HOLIDAYS. TO OBTAIN A COPY YOU CAN CALL THE CLERK’S OFFICE SERVICE CENTER AT 312-435-5699."

    The plaintiff is represented by:

    Robert M. Foote
    Foote, Meyers, Mielke & Flowers, LLC
    28 North First Street
    Suite 2
    Geneva, IL 60134
    (630) 232-6333
    Email: rmf@foote-meyers.com
    LEAD ATTORNEY
    ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

    Kathleen Currie Chavez
    Chavez Law Firm P.C.
    28 North First Street
    Suite 2
    Geneva, IL 60134
    (630)232-6333
    Email: gkeg4@aol.com
    ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED

    Stephen William Fung
    Foote, Meyers, Mielke, & Flowers, LLC
    28 North First St.
    Suite 2
    Geneva, IL 60134
    630 232 6333
    Email: sfung@foote-meyers.com

    If anyone wants to be enterprising, to get a copy of the claim.
    George Kirikos - (416) 588-0269
    I'm a domain buyer. Please use the contact form on my company website to submit lists of domain names. If a matter is urgent, please telephone me instead.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,576
    golf without emotion?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,032
    $1 million is pocket change for the defendants, though. I assume the Verizon case is for a lot more.
    George Kirikos - (416) 588-0269
    I'm a domain buyer. Please use the contact form on my company website to submit lists of domain names. If a matter is urgent, please telephone me instead.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Mexico
    Posts
    3,831
    A RICO suit? Wooh.

    Get the popcorn.
    Captain Stupid.
    Jimmy James Inc. fan club membership # 3312

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,313
    Interesting.

    I know the management at Vulcan.

    It would seem this is an attempt/excuse to bolster sales with a settlement.

    I don't see any vulcan typos currently listed at Sedo, and only a couple of typos total taken.

    Maybe be another Geiko/Google type case of TM dillution?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,313
    citizenhawk.com is also only showing 1 typo taken.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,032
    Perhaps some names were tasted, and dropped.
    George Kirikos - (416) 588-0269
    I'm a domain buyer. Please use the contact form on my company website to submit lists of domain names. If a matter is urgent, please telephone me instead.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,313
    Could be George.

    Also, the owner probably doesn't like ads at wwwvulcangolf.com that show:

    Callaway Golf Clearance
    Official Callaway Pre-Owned Site. Low Prices & Money Back Guarantee.


    Ping Clone Golf Clubs
    Know More About Golf Equipments & Other Accessories. Free Info Here!
    Blurtit.com

    ____

    My guess is this one will be settled out of court for legals fees & a small settlement.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,032
    A copy of the actual complaint has been posted as a PDF via the story at:

    http://www.circleid.com/posts/google...t_vulcan_golf/

    I'm still reading it, but it's also a Class Action lawsuit.
    George Kirikos - (416) 588-0269
    I'm a domain buyer. Please use the contact form on my company website to submit lists of domain names. If a matter is urgent, please telephone me instead.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Woodbury, New Jersey
    Posts
    2,181
    RICO, eh? I've been sounding a warning about litigants eventually using a RICO/~RICO approach to attack the typo/cyber "industry" - the "collaborative venture" of people registering typo domains and the companies helping them to profit from the domains - for several years.

    It just makes sense. Both the squatter and the feed provider are routinely, repetitively, likely massively profiting from the practice of monetizing famous mark typos, etc.

    The first big league plaintiffs firm to get their head around this will likely have the best "disgorgement" claim - the most concrete measure of "dirty profits". Then there's statutory penalties, punitive damages, etc.

    So, maybe this lawsuit gets a little media play or gets picked up by the law firm tracking systems. Then other firms start to size up the potential.

    It may not be a rainstorm of litigation in 2007 but it won't take too many well targeted, well crafted, well marshalled lawsuits to make the industry and its insiders a bit of a mess.

    I don't wish anyone ill as I'm sure there's plenty of otherwise very nice folk who have been playing this game for years but if I were you I would not assume that your assets are safe whereever you are located, particularly if your country or a country where you hold assets are party to treaties that allow for international enforcement of judgments.

    It was only a matter of time. The more publicity the domain industry attracts the more of the negative publicity draws the attention of those in the business of dealing with "the bad guys": legislators, lawyers, etc.
    Going fishing, soon, I hope.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Woodbury, New Jersey
    Posts
    2,181
    Just in case anyone is mulling this over think this one through:

    The "defense" that some (all) parking companies have been putting forth for years has been "but there are just too many domains being submitted for us to screen them". In other words "We're not to blame! It's the darned conniving domainers!"

    So, given this "defense" would anyone be surprised IF litigation defense counsel advised "Well, it sounds nice BUT unless you join those darned conniving domainers as 3rd-party defendants to this litigation and start pointing the finger at THEM this "defense" just may not hold much water."

    Also, if the parking companies are faced with disgorgement claims what's the chance that litigation counsel says "Hey, before you take the whole hit yourself you better think about getting everyone else on board to contribute."

    Nothing like having lots of parties to make a settlement more palatable . . and possible.

    This is all just a hypothetical warning. To those still firmly planted in denial there's nothing to fear, since you all know that everyone who is party to the practice of profiting off of famous marks are honorable people, people who would never mess with anyone else's economic interests.

    I've been dishing out free advice on this topic for years. From here on out your gonna have to pay should the #$#$ start to rain down on you. I hope that's not the case, really, but it's not because I've failed to try to waive you off the highway to heck for the past few years.

    Do not expect that if the parking companies get sued for certain marks that they will not turn around and join you as a direct defendant and do not expect that they will not give up your name, your banking info, etc. as part of discovery, in response to an ex parte flanking maneuver (writs of attachment, body warrants, etc.)

    Man, people ran from Casino conferences when the heat came down. Do not be surprised, in the future, to see some interesting #$## happen at domain conferences. Sherrif's walking into the room with "body warrants" - capias ad satisfaciendum - for international visitors or out of State attendees? Entirely possible. No kidding. Been there, done that and the target didn't even have a clue that it was coming.

    I just hope it's not one of you guys, the one's I've shared a drink or two with or chatted it up with at DomainFest or parried with here. Really. I'd be rather exasperated as I've gone out of my way - at the risk of alienating some of you - to let you know what I can envision is coming and that hypothetical future I've been warning about for years is now on the flight path to landing in your backyards. I just hope it's nobody here. Maybe it's just the lurkers I'm helping out, if they see such advice as helpful that is. My fear is that such advice/warnings just annoy some people. Just like my kids. Argh!

    Alright, somebody buy me a beer. Enough lawyertalk.
    Last edited by CrankyOldMan; 06-27-2007 at 09:31 PM.
    Going fishing, soon, I hope.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    3,313
    Thanks George. Just read through it.

    Looks like you were right. On page 54, 12 domains listed that were tasted. Only 2 domains currently registered mentioned.

    Harsh statement on page 64 claiming an illegal domain aftermarket. Last time I checked, is was not illegal to buy or sell a domain.

    __

    Cranky, quick question. How much $$$ does a 120 page filing like this cost? Seems pretty involved, and I would imagine the settlement would have to be at least 3x the legal fee.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    4,576
    Originally posted by CrankyOldMan
    Just in case anyone is mulling this over think this one through:

    The "defense" that some (all) parking companies have been putting forth for years has been "but there are just too many domains being submitted for us to screen them". In other words "We're not to blame! It's the darned conniving domainers!"

    So, given this "defense" would anyone be surprised IF litigation defense counsel advised "Well, it sounds nice BUT unless you join those darned conniving domainers as 3rd-party defendants to this litigation and start pointing the finger at THEM this "defense" just may not hold much water."

    Also, if the parking companies are faced with disgorgement claims what's the chance that litigation counsel says "Hey, before you take the whole hit yourself you better think about getting everyone else on board to contribute."

    Nothing like having lots of parties to make a settlement more palatable . . and possible.

    This is all just a hypothetical warning. To those still firmly planted in denial there's nothing to fear, since you all know that everyone who is party to the practice of profiting off of famous marks are honorable people, people who would never mess with anyone else's economic interests.

    I've been dishing out free advice on this topic for years. From here on out your gonna have to pay should the #$#$ start to rain down on you. I hope that's not the case, really, but it's not because I've failed to try to waive you off the highway to heck for the past few years.

    Do not expect that if the parking companies get sued for certain marks that they will not turn around and join you as a direct defendant and do not expect that they will not give up your name, your banking info, etc. as part of discovery, in response to an ex parte flanking maneuver (writs of attachment, body warrants, etc.)

    Man, people ran from Casino conferences when the heat came down. Do not be surprised, in the future, to see some interesting #$## happen at domain conferences. Sherrif's walking into the room with "body warrants" - capias ad satisfaciendum - for international visitors or out of State attendees? Entirely possible. No kidding. Been there, done that and the target didn't even have a clue that it was coming.

    I just hope it's not one of you guys, the one's I've shared a drink or two with or chatted it up with at DomainFest or parried with here. Really. I'd be rather exasperated as I've gone out of my way - at the risk of alienating some of you - to let you know what I can envision is coming and that hypothetical future I've been warning about for years is now on the flight path to landing in your backyards. I just hope it's nobody here. Maybe it's just the lurkers I'm helping out, if they see such advice as helpful that is. My fear is that such advice/warnings just annoy some people. Just like my kids. Argh!

    Alright, somebody buy me a beer. Enough lawyertalk.
    I think your warnings are well taken, Cranky.

    I think that the most domainers are reading the tea leaves and would like the field to clean up its act proactively. This is one reason what votes are running 5 to 1 in favor of a Registrants Code of Rights and Responsibilities on multiple forums.
    http://www.domainstate.com/showthrea...threadid=77491 At the moment, I have deferred on this while under consideration by the ICA. I think there are still a few major (and minor) players who are trying to stretch out the old days as long as possible -- but even some of the big player are feeling the heat -- and there have been some big player changes that suggest that "business as usual" is not going to continue.

    I hope that the ICA takes action relatively soon -- we are in a lull before the next wave of legislation or whatever. It would be really, really nice if domainers acted in a somewhat proactive manner to clean up their act rather than having it come from outside (which, I can assure you, will not be very nice -- and the loss of autonomy may be irreparable).

    So, your Crankiness, keep "shouting in the dessert" and I will too. Heck, John the Baptist only lost his head for speaking out... what's the worst that can happen to us?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Woodbury, New Jersey
    Posts
    2,181
    Thanks your most Domeyness. Just another day at the office.

    And, in other parts of the world, it's just another day in the office too:

    DISNEYCKANNEL.COM
    DESINYCHANEL.COM



    Dear parking company: It's 2007. You simply cannot be party to this. Ever. There's no "we couldn't be bothered to look at the list" defense what will hold up to judicial or jury scrutiny.

    And the corporation can be pierced and individual fortunes can be put at risk. I've done it. The "I had my blinders on" defense is an imperfect one.
    Going fishing, soon, I hope.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    3,032
    Originally posted by CrankyOldMan
    DESINYCHANEL.COM
    That's a funny one -- you can get both Disney AND Chanel to go after it!
    George Kirikos - (416) 588-0269
    I'm a domain buyer. Please use the contact form on my company website to submit lists of domain names. If a matter is urgent, please telephone me instead.

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