This stolen domain name lawsuit has a twist

Lawsuit doesn’t name the person who currently owns the domain name.

Picture of shaded man in hoodie with the words "stolen domains"

The estate of a recently passed woman has sued (pdf) to get the domain name, which it alleges was stolen.

Ellen Black managed a website at the domain name until she died earlier this year. Now, her estate says the domain name was stolen from its Network Solutions account.

The estate is suing both the John Doe who stole the domain name, and the domain name itself in rem.

But there’s a bit of a twist. According to the lawsuit:

Shortly after learning of the theft of the domain name, Plaintiff was informed that the domain name had been trafficked and sold by John Doe through the domain brokerage of LLC to a competitor of the Plaintiff.

So now the domain is owned by someone else:

The competitor of the Plaintiff to whom the Domain Name was sold by John Doe has demanded compensation from the Plaintiff for return of the Plaintiff’s stolen Domain Name, then refused to return the Plaintiff’s stolen Domain Name, and has further threatened to tarnish the reputation of Plaintiff’s decedent.

Given that the estate has been in touch with the current owner, it seems odd that the lawsuit is only directed at the John Doe and in rem against the domain name. After all, it’s the competitor who will lose the domain if the lawsuit succeeds.

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