A Chinese citizen, Mr. C., is suing another, Mr. L., before the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, in the United States, on the ground of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). This in rem proceeding concerns the following domain names: 789365.com, 402013.com, 402014.com, 402015.com and vip999365.com (Xiaomei Chen v. Lin Bing Jun, 789365.com, 402013.com, 402014.com, 402015 .com, vip999365.com, 1: 18-cv-00794-TSE-TCB, U.S. DC, Eastern District of Virginia).
At first glance, territorial jurisdiction may be surprising since both parties to the dispute are Chinese. However, it is justified by the fact that Verisign —which is the registry of the domain names concerned— is located in Virginia.
The domain names in question had been registered by Mr. C. with one registrar. The plaintiff intends to show that his account was hacked, after which said domain names were transferred to Mr. L. The plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgement stating that he is “the only entity with any rights to the contract controlling the subject [d]omain [n]ames”, and thus, that he is the sole legitimate owner of the account and the domain names. Among other assertions, he claims to be the owner of eponymous trademarks filed in the United States. Finally, Mr. C. demands the judge to order Verisign and the registrar to return control of the domain names to plaintiff’s accounts.
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