United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Alexandria Division
LATHAM & WATKINS LLP. Plaintiff.
PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND
F. ANDERSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on plaintiffs motion for default
judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
55(b)(2). (Docket no. 20). In this action, plaintiff Latham
& Watkins LLP ("plaintiff') seeks a default
judgment ordering that the registration for the domain name
defendant. <hiring-lw.com>, be transferred to it.
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(C), the undersigned
magistrate judge is filing with the court his proposed
findings of fact and recommendations, a copy of which will be
provided to all interested parties.
November 30, 2017. plaintiff filed a single count complaint
against domain name <hiring-lw.com>. The complaint
alleges a violation of the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer
Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d) ("ACPA").
(Docket no. 1). On March 16, 2018, plaintiff moved to either
waive service by publication, or enter an order permitting
service by publication. (Docket no. 10). On that same day,
the court ordered plaintiff to file a notice in either
The Washington Post or The Washington Times
and to send a copy of the order to the registrant for the
defendant domain name at the listed physical address and
email address provided to the registrar notifying the
registrant that it had twenty-one (21) days from the date of
publication to file a responsive pleading. (Docket no. 14).
On March 23, 2018, plaintiff filed a proof of publication
affirming that it published a notice of this action in
The Washington Post on March 22, 2018. (Docket no.
15-3). Plaintiff also affirmed that it sent a copy of the
publication order to the physical address and email address
provided by the registrant to the registrar. (Docket no. 15).
On May 10, 2018, the court directed plaintiff to obtain an
entry of default (Docket no. 17), which it requested on May
11, 2018 (Docket no. 18), and received as to the defendant
domain name <hiring-lw.com> on May 14, 2018 (Docket no.
19). On May 23, 2018, plaintiff filed this motion for default
judgment (Docket no. 20) and noticed the hearing for June 8,
2018 at 10:00 a.m. (Docket no. 23). The certificates of
service on the motion and notice of hearing indicate that the
registrant was sent both documents at the physical address
and email address provided to the registrar for the defendant
domain name. (Docket nos. 20, 23). At the hearing on June 8,
2018, counsel for the plaintiff appeared, but no one appeared
on behalf of the defendant domain name or to make a claim to
the defendant domain name.
following facts are established by the complaint (Docket no.
1) ("Compl."). Plaintiff Latham & Watkins LLP
is one of the world's largest law firms with over 2, 220
attorneys in fourteen different countries around the globe.
(Compl. ¶ 9). Plaintiff has offered professional legal
services under the "LATHAM & WATKINS" mark and
associate logos and terms, including the "LW" term
since its founding in Los Angeles, California in 1934.
(Compl. ¶ 11). Plaintiff owns and operates the
<lw.com> domain name, which it registered in October
1994, and uses it to host its primary website, send and
receive emails, and otherwise conduct business around the
world. (Compl. ¶ 12). Through plaintiffs widespread and
continuous use of the "LW" mark to provide its
legal services in interstate commerce, the mark has acquired
extensive goodwill, developed a high degree of
distinctiveness, and become well-known and recognized as
identifying services originating from plaintiff. (Compl.
defendant domain name <hiring-lw.com> is a domain name
registered on October 6, 2016 with the registrar Network
Solutions LLC and the registry for this top level <com>
domain name is VeriSign Global Registry Services. (Compl.
¶¶ 2, 3, 5). The registrant for the defendant
domain name listed in the WHOIS database is Perfect Privacy
LLC. (Compl. ¶ 4). For a fee, Perfect Privacy LLC
provides its contact information on the public WHOIS database
so the true registrants of domain names may avoid disclosing
their identifying information. (Id.).
recently learned of various scams being perpetrated against
the public that use the <hiring-lw.com> domain name and
impersonate various members of the plaintiff law firm.
(Compl. ¶ 16). On November 2016, a member of the public
received an email from the <hiring-lw.com> domain name
regarding potential employment with plaintiff using the name
of an associate from plaintiffs London office in its standard
[FirstName].[LastName] email format. (Compl. ¶¶ 14,
17). The potential victim began to doubt the scammer's
identity and ultimately emailed the impersonated associate to
alert her that her email account may have been hacked.
(Compl. ¶ 19). Other victims went through the same
process wherein they received fraudulent offers for
work-from-home positions with plaintiff, at which point the
scammers would mail a check to each victim and direct them to
furnish a home office and refund the remaining amounts.
(Compl. ¶ 20). By the time the initial check from the
scammers bounced, the victims had already purchased the home
equipment and sent the scammers the "remaining"
funds from their own personal accounts. (Compl. ¶ 20).
Other victims were directed to submit a check to cover
training materials with a fraudulent promise of future
reimbursement. (Compl. ¶ 21).
November 28, 2016, plaintiff wrote to Network Solutions LLC
and Perfect Privacy LLC with an electronic copy to the domain
name registrant's listed email address, demanding that
the <hiring-lw.com> domain name be disabled, and the
true owner's identity be revealed, and that the domain
name be surrendered to plaintiff. (Compl. ¶ 22). Despite
further attempts to contact the responsible parties,
plaintiff never received a response. (Compl. ¶ 22). As
of the filing of the complaint, plaintiff continued to
receive reports from victims or potential victims regarding
the <Wring-lw.com> domain name, including incidents in
March and April 2017. (Compl. ¶ 23).
Findings and Recommendations
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for the
entry of a default judgment when "a party against whom a
judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to plead
or otherwise defend." Based on the failure to plead or
otherwise defend against the action, the Clerk of Court has
entered a default as to the defendant domain name
<hiring-lw.com>. (Docket no. 19).
defendant in default admits the factual allegations in the
complaint. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(b)(6) ("An
allegation-other than one relating to the amount of
damages-is admitted if a responsive pleading is required and
the allegation is not denied."); see also
GlobalSantaFe Corp. v. Globalsantafe.com, 250 F.Supp.2d
610, 612 n.3 (E.D. Va. 2003) ("Upon default, facts
alleged in the complaint are deemed admitted and the
appropriate inquiry is whether the facts as alleged state a
claim."). Rule 55(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure provides that a court may conduct a hearing to
determine the amount of damages, establish the truth of any
allegation by evidence, or investigate any other matter when
necessary to enter or effectuate judgment.
must have both subject matter and personal jurisdiction over
a defaulting party before it can render a default judgment.
Plaintiff has asserted a claim against the defendant domain
name pursuant to the ACPA (15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)) and
alleges that this court has ...