United State Court Of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Office Depot v. Zuccarini
In December 2000, Office Depot obtained a judgment against Zuccarini under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act of 1999 (“ACPA”), 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d), rising out of Zuccarini’s registration of the domain name “officdepot.com.” Office Depot was unable to collect on the judgment and eventually assigned the judgment to DSH.
DSH sought to levy upon some of the other domain names owned by Zuccarini. DSH registered the judgment in the district court for the Northern District of California. DSH then obtained a preservation order from the district court and engaged in discovery. It learned that Zuccarini owned more than 248 domain names registered with VeriSign, of which more than 190 were “.com” domain names. DSH targeted the “.com” domain names in its levy.
Some background information on the structure of the domain name system will be helpful to the reader:
Every computer connected to the Internet has a unique Internet Protocol (“IP”) address. IP addresses are long strings of numbers, such as 22.214.171.124. The Internet [domain name system] provides an alphanumeric shorthand for IP addresses. The hierarchy of each domain name is divided by periods.
Thus, reading a domain name from right to left, the portion of the domain name to the right of the first period is the top-level domain (“TLD”). TLDs include .com, .gov, .net., and .biz. Each TLD is divided into second-level domains identified by the designation to the left of the first period, such as “example” in “example.com” or “example.net.” . . . Each domain name is unique and thus can only be registered to one entity . . . . A domain name is created when it is registered with the appropriate registry operator. A registry OFFICE DEPOT v. ZUCCARINI 3123 operator maintains the definitive database, or registry, that associates the registered domain names with the proper IP numbers for the respective domain name servers. The domain name servers direct Internet queries to the related web resources. A registrant can register a domain name only through companies that serve as registrars for second level domain names. Registrars accept registrations for new or expiring domain names, connect to the appropriate registry operator’s TLD servers to determine whether the name is available, and register available domain names on behalf of registrants . . . .
The majority of domain name registrations for commercial purposes utilize the .com TLD. Coalition for ICANN Transparency, Inc. v. VeriSign, Inc., 464 F. Supp. 2d 948, 951-53 (N.D. Cal. 2006), reversed by 567 F.3d 1084 (9th Cir. 2009).
As explained in Coalition for ICANN Transparency, there are three primary actors in the domain name system.
First, companies called “registries” operate a database (or “registry”) for all domain names within the scope of their authority.
Second, companies called “registrars” register domain names with registries on behalf of those who own the names. Registrars maintain an ownership record for each domain name they have registered with a registry. Action by a registrar is needed to transfer ownership of a domain name from one registrant to another.
Third, individuals and companies called “registrants” own the domain names. Registrants interact with the registrars, who in turn interact with the registries.
VeriSign is the registry for the domain names “.com” and “.net”. Id. at 953. Its headquarters are located in Mountain View, California, in the Northern District of California. During discovery, DSH learned that the registrars for Zuccarini’s “.com” and “.net” domain names were located in the United States, Germany, and Israel. DSH filed a request in the district court for a turnover order to compel the registrars of certain “.com” domain names owned by Zuccarini to transfer ownership to DSH. The district court denied the request, holding that, under California Civil Procedure Code § 699.040, it could not order third parties to turn over property. DSH then moved for the appointment of a receiver who would obtain and sell the “.com” domain names in question and would use the proceeds to satisfy the judgment. The district court granted the motion to appoint a receiver.
Zuccarini appealed. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(2) to entertain an appeal from an interlocutory order appointing a receiver.
Because VeriSign has its headquarters in the Northern District of California, the district court had quasi in rem jurisdiction over the domain names registered with VeriSign for purposes of appointing a receiver to assist in executing a judgment against the owner of the names.
In Indian context, .IN domain Registry is located at New Delh :-
c/o NIXI (National Internet eXchange of India)
Regd. Office: Incube Business Centre,5th Floor,
New Delhi 110019
Tel: +91 11 3061 4624 / 4625
Fax: +91 11 3061 4629