Senior Communications Manager
David Weslow Weighs in on Growing Problem of Domain Name Theft
David E. Weslow, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Intellectual Property Practice, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal in a March 11 article about domain name theft, a form of intellectual property theft that has become a significant problem for U.S. businesses.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has received more than 140 complaints about domain-name thefts in the past 20 months, according to the article. Mr. Weslow explained that a thief, after illegally gaining control of a company’s domain name, might hold that web address for ransom, resell it, or use the information to access personal or company data.
Thieves may “also be interested in other means for monetizing the stolen domain name, such as the display of pay-per-click advertisements, display of a website that downloads malware, or use of the domain name to send legitimate-looking emails containing spam, viruses and/or phishing correspondence,” he said.
Mr. Weslow is helping his clients combat the growing problem of domain name theft. In October 2014, he filed the first federal lawsuit of its kind on behalf of an e-commerce company that had a number of Internet domain names stolen by computer hackers based in China. The lawsuit, Acme Billing Company v. John Doe, includes claims under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. It is also the first known court case in which the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is being used to attempt to regain possession of stolen domain names.
To read the Wall Street Journal article, click here.