Bodog Going To Court Again

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bodog-logo.GIFBodog is once again going to court but not for the same thing. This time Bodog Entertainment Group is on the offensive against the company that seized its trademark bearing domains.

The newest event in Bodog’s ongoing litigation against 1st Technology LLC is that now they are trying to make a new law in the state of Washington.

On November 13 Bodog Entertainment Group, S.A., which is not the operator of the Bodog online entertainment businesses or domain names, filed a very important motion in Washington state court. This is where 1st Technology LLC attained seizure of numerous domain names incorporating Bodog and related trademarks. Bodog Entertainment Group is asking the court to answer a question they have that is not addressed by state law: Are Internet domain names considered property that can be subject to seizure to collect on a judgment? Bodog Entertainment Group thinks they shouldn’t be.

Defense team lawyer James Nguyen, who is an entertainment, intellectual property and Internet law specialist for Foley & Lardner LLP tried to explain why this question hasn’t been answered. He has said that this is a new legal issue that was prompted by the emergence of Internet technology.

As of right now there are no legal decisions on record in Washington about this issue and because of that the defending legal team is asking the Washington judge to look to established law in the commonwealth of Virginia, where it states that domain names should not be subject to seizure.

Nguyen has said that it is not unreasonable to expect a comparable law in Washington. In quite a few areas, trademarks are not considered properties that are subject to seizure.

Nguyen went on to say that the domain names, which incorporate the Bodog and linked trademarks, could not be transferred because those domain names can not be used by a third party, which would be anyone who might purchase the domain name though an Internet auction, without breaching on Bodog trademarks.

Nguyen also said that if the court does not have the power to authorize seizure of trademarks, then it should not have the power to confiscate or hand over domain names which contain those trademarks.

Calvin Ayre, who is the founder of Bodog, has been very verbal in this ongoing case and at times has even called out the 1st Technology LLC president to an actual fight in his blog many times. Ayre, who has voiced his opinion in this on-going case and made it clear that a decision in favor of Bodog Entertainment Group, S.A., which would help trademark and domain name owners across cyberspace.

Ayre has said that the company in court from whom our domains were seized has never done any business in the U.S. nor was it knowledgeable of being served or that a successive default judgment had been issued in it absence. He went on to say that the company right now is an invalid ex-supplier of data entry and domain management services to Bodog. Bodog is still and will always be recipient of the Bodog domain names. Ayre also said that they are confident that defendant’s legal team can convey these facts in addition to convincing the Washington judge to take consideration of the established Virginia law with regards to domain names. He also said that this is groundbreaking in muddy waters of Internet law and that they are confident that they have many aspects in their favor to possibly solidify some clarity on this issue and that their domain will be returned to them.

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