(Reuters) - It’s not often that U.S. appellate courts are called upon to decide whether internet domain name owners that have re-registered website names can be held liable for cybersquatting. But it does happen.
On Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals intensified a decade-old split among the circuits on the answer to that question.
The appeals court held in The Prudential Insurance Company of America v. Shenzhen Stone Network Information Ltd
that Shenzhen, a Chinese financial information company, engaged in cybersquatting when it re-registered the domain name PRU.com after acquiring the website name from its initial registrant, an unnamed Texas company. The 4th Circuit panel, Judges Henry Floyd, Albert Diaz and Stephanie Thacker, said in an opinion written by Thacker that limiting liability to the original domain name registrant would undermine the intent of the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.