First the judge questioned trademarks. Now a company says it bought one of the domains.
Yoshiki Okada’s lawsuit to recover valuable domain names he says were stolen from him is getting messier.
Okada filed an in rem lawsuit late last year to recover the domain names eol.com, fde.com, jol.com, nnn.com, olp.com, tang.com, wok.com, wtv.com, and zhang.com.
No one showed up to defend the domain names but the judge questioned if this was really a case that should have been filed as a cybersquatting claim. Were the domains really used in commerce? Did Okada have trademark rights? Tang.com seemed to be a trigger since it’s also a well-known trademark owned by a food company.
As if that wasn’t a big enough wrench in the lawsuit, now a company has raised its hand and said that it bought OLP.com last year to rebrand its business (pdf).
OneLoanPlace.com rebranded as OLP.com after acquiring the domain name. It finally got ready to relaunch its business on the OLP.com domain this year, only to find out it was locked due to the lawsuit.
The company says it bought the domain on January 23, 2018. In Okada’s suit, he said the domain was stolen on or about January 29, 2018.
It’s worth noting that the loan company reached out to buy the domain through a broker. Based on its legal filing, it was not approached by someone who could have been the thief.
OLP.com wants to defend the domain name in the lawsuit. So this relatively simple case is now becoming much more complicated.