Meta Platforms and Namecheap Settle Trademark Lawsuit – Domain Name Wire
The trial could end after two years.
Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:FB) and domain name registrar Namecheap settle their trademark lawsuit.
Meta (Facebook at the time) sued (pdf) Namecheap and its privacy service Whois in March 2020 for alleged cybersquatting and trademark infringement. He complained that Namecheap’s Whois privacy service did not disclose ownership details behind domains that Meta claimed infringed its trademarks. Meta argued that the Whois privacy service was therefore responsible for the actions of registrants. In one blog posthe said he was suing to protect people from domain name fraud.
Namecheap argued that this was simply due process and to protect the privacy of its users. In one blog post published in June 2020, Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall wrote:
…However, trademark protection is a very specialized area of law. Whether a trademark is protected and whether use of something similar to the trademark violates that protection depends on a multitude of factors. This investigation is complicated by different laws in different jurisdictions, US and foreign. Because it is so specialized, we believe only a court is the proper forum to determine whether there has been trademark infringement and Namecheap (or a similarly situated company) should not have to act as a complex referee. facts and laws whenever someone invokes an offence. And, as I’ll explain later, Facebook doesn’t need your personal information to investigate, act, and/or enforce alleged trademark infringement in court.
The parties have filed more than 180 exhibits since the start of the trial, but it appears that the two parties have agreed to a settlement in principle. Meta Platforms and Namecheap filed a notice of settlement with the court today.
Meta is involved in a similar lawsuit with registrar OnlineNic. In this lawsuit, OnlineNic said it would stop fighting the lawsuit and shut down. But that didn’t happen; OnlineNic still works today. The parties in this lawsuit are still fighting as Meta tries to lure 35.cn, a Chinese company that Meta says is an alter ego of OnlineNic, into the lawsuit.