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Judge halts sale of domain name

Temporary restraining order puts sale on hold.

Logo for Ethereum Name Service has a stylized circle with ENS letters

U.S. District Judge John Tuchi has issued a temporary restraining order (pdf) halting the sale of

As Domain Name Wire first reported on September 7, Ethereum Name Service and former registrant Virgil Griffith sued GoDaddy and Dynadot to halt the expiration and sale of the domain name. The domain name went through pre-drop expiration cycle and Dynadot auctioned it for $852,000.

Tuchi ordered the domain name to be transferred back to Griffith for now. He had given GoDaddy and Dynadot just one day to respond, and neither did.

However, this is just a temporary restraining order and is hardly the final say on the matter. Tuchi wrote:

In this instance, the parties provided no briefing on the amount of surety bond that would be proper; indeed, Defendants provided no briefing whatsoever. The Court declines to set the preliminary injunction surety bond amount at zero, because Defendants may incur damages upon an ultimate determination that they were entitled to allow Plaintiffs’ registration in the Domain to expire and/or sell or transfer ownership in the Domain. See Jorgensen, 320 F.3d at 919. The Court in its discretion will set the surety bond amount at $10,000.

In other words, the current action is to prevent the domain from slipping away while the matter is litigated.

It will be interesting to see what GoDaddy and Dynadot decide to do. There is some confusion about expiration timelines in the Plaintiff’s filings. But it’s also not yet clear what actions GoDaddy took around the domain name when it expired.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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