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Man Criminally Charged With Domain Name Theft

December 1, 2009

In one of the first cases of its kind, Daniel Goncalves, a New Jersey man, has been indicted for allegedly stealing the domain name.  The indictment charges that, in May 2006, Goncalves illegally accessed the domain registrar account belonging to, LLC and transferred the domain name to his personal account.  Goncalves is alleged to have then sold the domain name on eBay for approximately $111,000.  The criminal charges include several second degree counts including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, computer theft and identity theft and three counts of fourth-degree falsifying records.

While civil remedies have long been available in instances of domain misappropriation, criminal prosecution could help further deter such behavior.  As a practical matter, all organizations should be diligent in registering and maintaining control of domain names used in the operation of their business.  To review the New Jersey Attorney General's press release, go here.

For more information about legislation or litigation involving technology, intellectual property protection of information technology assets or any other Information Technology law issue, contact your Miller Canfield attorney.