Cybersquatting Domain Names Trademark Cases

The Prudential Insurance Company of America v. Zhang and

Frank Zhang has lost his domain name domain name after The Prudential Insurance Company of America won it’s summary judgment motion regarding cybersquatting.

The case was filed against Frank Zhang and his domani name “In Rem” in the Eastern District of Virginia, E.D. Va. #: 1:20-cv-00450-TSE-MSN, even though the domain name was registered at GoDaddy, which is based in Arizona.

Mr. Zhang brought a motion to dismiss and, in the alternative, a motion to transfer venue. The court grant his motion in part, dismissing the ACPA cybersquatting claim against Frank Zhang, but kept the In Rem case against the domain name in the Virginia court.

Mr. Zhang has now appealed the Order of July 22, 2020, denying in part and granting in part Zhang’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12 and denying Zhang’s motion to transfer pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

Mr. Zhang is represented in the appeal by David Deal.

This case started because the domain name stayed parked with GoDaddy’s standard landing page, which serves GoDaddy generated ads, after Mr. Zhang purchased it for $100,000 USD on behalf of his Chinese employer. It was claimed that the ads infringed Prudential Insurance’s trademarks.

Mr. Zhang was unable to change the landing page after GoDaddy was notified of this lawsuit, so GoDaddy is able to continue earning ad revenues from the landing page.

Standard GoDaddy Landing page used for

Stay tuned for a further analysis of this domain name cybersquatting case.