Thursday, November 29, 2012

Network Solutions, Inc. v. Umbro International, Inc. case brief (garnishment of contractual rights/domain name)

Network Solutions, Inc. v. Umbro International, Inc. (Va. Sup. Ct. 2000)  

Subject:  Garnishment of contractural rights.

-Umbro got default and permanent injunction against Canada corp. (judgment debtor). 
-Involved the judgment debtor’s registration of the internet domain name “” Enjoined the debtor from use of the domain name and awarded Umbro $23k for fees and expenses. 
-Umbro named Network solutions as the garnishee and sought to garnish 38 internet domain names that the judgment debtor registered w/ NSI. 
-Umbro asked NSI to place them on hold and to deposit control of them into the registry of the court so the names could be advertised and sold. 
-NSI objected that the sites were standardized, executory service contracts or domain name registration agreements. 
Issue: Whether a contractual right to use an Internet domain can be garnished?

Holding: Such a contractual right is the product of a contract for services and hence is not subject to garnishment. 
Analysis: NSI assigns domain names for a fee. NSI compares apps w/ a database of existing domain names to prevent the registration of identical domain names. They then match the domain name to the corresponding IP address. Because the contracts contain mutual obligations and liabilities one party cannot assign it without consent of the other party. However, may still garnish money due under a contract, but not the services.

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