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Icann seeks dismissal in VeriSign suit

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) has asked a US judge to dismiss most claims brought against it in a lawsuit by VeriSign.

VeriSign, manager of the master databases of the .com and .net internet domains, sued Icann in late February.

The company accused Icann, which oversees the internet's naming system, of overstepping its contractual authority and improperly attempting to regulate VeriSign's business, violating its charter and its agreements with VeriSign.

Icann argued that six of VeriSign's claims related to antitrust, breach of contract and other matters are not ripe for a court to consider.

The parties first have to resolve a dispute about interpretation of the contract between them, an issue brought in a seventh VeriSign claim, Icann said.

"This is a dispute about the interpretation of a contract, which VeriSign's seventh claim for relief appropriately seeks to resolve," Icann said.

"Disagreeing with VeriSign is neither an antitrust violation nor a breach of contract, and thus none of the first six claims has merit."

VeriSign asserted in its lawsuit that Icann has improperly attempted to become the de facto regulator of the domain name system and, in doing so, prevented the introduction of new services such as internationalised domain names and a back-ordering service for domain names that would be good for internet users and promote the growth of the internet.

VeriSign also claimed that Icann wrongly demanded that it take down Site Finder, a disputed service that directed internet users who typed in a nonexistent .com domain to a VeriSign website.

VeriSign turned on Site Finder last September and suspended the service in early October under pressure from Icann.

One day after VeriSign filed suit against Icann, a group of eight domain name registrars sued the organisation and VeriSign seeking to stop the implementation of the back-ordering service, saying it would dupe consumers into buying domain names they will never be able to register.

Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service


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