VeriSign enjoined from 'domain slamming'

VeriSign Inc, the preeminent domain name registrar, has been enjoined by a federal court in Maryland from continuing its controversial marketing campaign involving the mailing of notices to domain name registrants, encouraging them to re-register with VeriSign.

The injunction was granted as part of a lawsuit filed against VeriSign by BulkRegister, a Baltimore-based domain name seller. BulkRegister alleges VeriSign is engaged in a 'slamming' campaign aimed at BulkRegister's domain name customers intended to deceive them into switching their accounts. (The term 'slamming' refers to an outlawed practice by long-distance telephone providers to trick consumers into switching providers.)

The suit alleges false advertising, and tortious interference with contractual relations and economic opportunity. The US district court agreed with BulkRegister that VeriSign likely engaged in deceptive behavior and ordered VeriSign to immediately stop sending the notices to BulkRegister customers.

Earlier this year, a similar charge was made against VeriSign by registrar Go Daddy Software, and just last week a Los Angeles law firm launched a lawsuit seeking class action status against the company for more domain slamming.

It would seem that VeriSign has deliberately set an aggressive course to turn the tide of its financial fortunes.

Douglas Wood and Linda Goldstein, Hall Dickler Kent Goldstein & Wood LLP, New York

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