Lewis & Lin Obtains Injunction Against Domain Name Thieves

Lewis & Lin successfully argued for the return of over 200 valuable domain names that were hijacked out of our client’s account. We represented a Hong Kong-based domain name investor whose 224 valuable domain names were stolen from his registrar GoDaddy’s account after the Defendants hacked into his Hotmail email account to steal and intercept his personal information.

The unknown defendants appeared to be sophisticated Chinese-based hackers. After gaining control of our client’s domain names, they transferred them to various other domain name registrars, including one in Germany.

Upon our engagement, Lewis & Lin immediately filed suit in U.S. District Court in Arizona – where GoDaddy is based – seeking a temporary restraining order requiring the defendants to return the domain names to our client’s account.  The suit asserted causes of action for violation of the Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications Act, and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, as well as common law claims of conversion and trespass to chattels.

We sought a TRO requiring the defendants and their domain name registrars and domain name registry to immediately record the registration of record for the domain names to our client’s name and into an account under our client’s control; change the DNS and MX servers to those of our client’s choosing; and place a lock on the domains to prevent further unauthorized access.  Despite questions the court initially had about jurisdiction over unknown Chinese defendants in an Arizona court, and the court’s power to require GoDaddy, the German registrar, and Verisign (the domain name registry) to act, the court granted our TRO in its entirety.  Three weeks later, upon the defendants’ default, the TRO has matured into a preliminary injunction. 

The case is No. 17-CV-03294 in U.S. District Court in Arizona.

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