October 27, 2016

ICANN files a motion to dismiss Donuts’ lawsuit for .WEB

ICANN claims that Donuts cannot sue them and requests dismissal of the case

As reported earlier, Donuts sued ICANN in an effort to postpone the auction for .WEB and potentially disqualify one of the participants. It has been reported that ICANN has now filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by a Donuts-owned company over the results of the auction for .WEB.

Donuts was one of seven applicants for the .WEB TLD. As per the results, Nu Dot Co won the ICANN auction for $135 million, and was awarded the domain name. It was later revealed that Nu Dot Co had a deal with Verisign in which Verisign bankrolled the auction and Nu Dot Co agreed to transfer rights in the name of Verisign after the auction.

Donuts claimed that Nu Dot Co was required to file changes to its application as a result of this deal, and that Verisign essentially sidestepped the application process by striking a deal with Nu Dot Co. Donuts also objected because Verisign (through Nu Dot Co) insisted on having an ICANN auction rather than a private auction and according to the rules, the losing parties get nothing in an ICANN auction whereas they split the proceeds in a private auction. Donuts therefore sued ICANN and asked for $22.5 million, which would approximate its share of proceeds had the auction been private.

ICANN’s motion to dismiss states that Donuts fails to plausibly allege the elements of any of its five causes of action, which included breach of contract and negligence. It also claims Donuts can’t sue because it agreed not to sue when it submitted its application. Additionally, ICANN says that Donuts needs to name Nu Dotco LLC in its suit.

The PDF file of the lawsuit is available on Domain Name Wire’s website, to access the document, click here.

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