Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CostaRica.com, Inc. v. Costarica.com

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division

March 6, 2017

COSTARICA.COM, INC. SOCIEDAD ANONIMA, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
<COSTARICA.COM>, Defendant.

          REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          THERESA CARROLL BUCHANAN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion for Default Judgment. (Dkt. 10.) After a representative for defendant failed to respond to plaintiffs' motion or to appear at the hearing before Magistrate Judge Ivan D. Davis on February 2, 2017, the undersigned took plaintiff's Motion under advisement.[1]

         I. INTRODUCTION

         A. Background

         Plaintiff CostaRica.com is a foreign entity organized under the laws of Costa Rica. (Compl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff Alejandro Solorzano-Picado is an officer of CostaRica.com, residing in Costa Rica. (Id. at ¶ 4.) Plaintiffs have been the owners of the domain <costarica.com> ("domain") since 1995 and have continuously used and promoted the mark since registering the domain. (Id. at ¶ 13-15.) Plaintiffs registered the domain for use as a trademark in connection with travel and tourist related services. (Id. at ¶ 16.) Between 2015 and early 2016, an unauthorized and unknown third party hacked into plaintiffs' MelbournelT registration account, transferred the domain to its current registrar at Name.com, and changed the administrative settings of plaintiffs' account. (Id. at ¶ 20-21.)

         Defendant <costarica.com> is an Internet domain name which is currently registered in Egypt. (Id. at ¶ 5.) The registrar for the domain is Name.com with a principal place of business in Denver, Colorado. (Id. at ¶ 6.) The registry for <costarica.com> is Verisign, Inc. with a principal place of business in Alexandria, Virginia. (Id. at ¶ 7.)

         On November 25, 2016, plaintiffs filed this action in rem under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act ("ACPA") 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d) in an effort to regain control of the domain name. (Id. at ¶ 1.) Plaintiffs seek the entry of an order declaring that plaintiffs are the rightful owners of the domain and directing that the domain be transferred and registered to plaintiffs. (Id. at 8-9; Mot. Default J. 1.)

         B. Jurisdiction and Venue

         Before the Court can render default judgment, it must have both subject matter and personal jurisdiction over the defaulting party/parties.

         This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338, which provide that district courts shall have original jurisdiction over all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States, and over civil actions arising under any federal law relating to patents, plant variety protection, copyrights, and trademarks. Plaintiff's cyberpiracy claim arises under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). The Court has in rem jurisdiction over defendant pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(2)(A) which establishes jurisdiction over a domain name under the ACPA in the judicial district where either the domain name register or registry is located and Verisign, Inc.- the registry of the defendant- is located in this District. (Compl. ¶ 9.) Venue is proper under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(2)(C) due to Verisign's presence in this District.

         C. Service of Process

         A plaintiff filing an action under the ACPA must provide notice of the action to the owner/registrant of the allegedly infringing domain name. 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(2)(A)-(B). Sufficient notice of an in rem action is established if the Court finds that the owner (1) is not able to obtain in personam jurisdiction over a person who would have been a defendant, in this case the registrant; and (2) through due diligence was not able to find a person who would have been a defendant by both (a) sending notice of the alleged violation and intent to bring this action to the registrant of the domain name at the postal and email address provided by the registrant to the registrar, and (b) publishing notice of the action as the Court may direct after filing the action. 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(2)(A)(ii).

         The undersigned concludes that plaintiff cannot obtain in personam jurisdiction over the registrant of Domain Names. Plaintiff's complaint thus satisfies the threshold requirement of Section 1125(d)(2)(A)(ii)(I). (Compl. ¶ 11.) Plaintiffs, despite the exercise of due diligence, were not able to find a person who would be a defendant in a civil action under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1). (Mem. Supp. Mot. Default J. 2-3.) Plaintiffs filed an Ex Parte Motion for Order to Publish Notice of Action, which this Court granted on December 9, 2016. (Dkts. 2, 5.) On January 5, 2017, plaintiffs filed a declaration of Steven Rinehart providing proof that notice of this action was published in The Washington Times. (Dkt. 8-1.) Plaintiffs demonstrated that notice of the lawsuit was sent by mail and email to the registrant of the domain on December 19, 2016. (Dkt. 8, 8-2.) Therefore, the requirements of Section 1125(d)(2)(A)(ii)(II) have been satisfied, and service of process is deemed complete. See 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (d)(2)(B).

&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;D. Grounds for ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.