June 12, 2003 08:50pm
Sex.com Case Sees Increasing Momentum
by: Company Press Release
(SAN FRANCISCO, CA) -- Sex.com announced today a major step in their legal battle over the Sex.com domain name. Stephen Michael Cohen, an ex-convict and the man who hijacked the domain name, had filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court and was rejected.
One of Kremen's attorneys, Pamela Urueta, explained, the Supreme Court's denial of Mr. Cohen's writ petition is significant because it puts the final nail in the coffin. Mr. Cohen has tried unsuccessfully both in the Ninth Circuit and, most recently in the Supreme Court, to overturn the $65 million dollar judgment against him. There is nowhere else for him to try to appeal; the judgment is final.
In 1995, Cohen had sent a forged letter to VeriSign (NASD: VRSN), formerly Network Solutions, Inc., requesting the transfer of the Sex.com domain name from Gary Kremen, the rightful owner of Sex.com. Without verifying the authenticity of the letter, VeriSign transferred the domain name to Cohen. Kremen, chief executive officer of Sex.com, was later awarded a $65 million judgment against Cohen for fraudulently stealing the domain name.
Subsequently, Cohen appealed the damage award to both a three-judge panel and the entire U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to no avail. In a last ditch effort, Cohen filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but this was declined as well.
"We are pleased to put a successful end to Mr. Cohen," said a member of Kremen's legal team, Richard J. Idell of Idell, Berman & Seitel in San Francisco.
"The U.S. Supreme Court has finally put an end to Cohen's battle over the Sex.com domain name in a precedent-setting case that requires domain name registrars to be held accountable for their mismanagement of crucial public resources such as the Internet," said Robin Gross, Executive Director of IP Justice, an international civil liberties organization.
"Sex.com provided the best test case imaginable, and Mr. Cohen turned it into a test of endurance," said Charles Carreon, one of Kremen's lead attorneys on the case against Cohen. "Although Gary takes the top prize, all domain name owners will benefit from the law this case has established. I trust that eventually, VeriSign will accept responsibility for its initial blunder, and pay Gary the damages that are due."
Sex.com still awaits the final verdict in their lawsuit against VeriSign for unilaterally taking the Sex.com domain name from Kremen. Kremen holds VeriSign duly responsible for using inadequate safeguards to protect his property. VeriSign claims that a domain name isn't property and thus, they are not responsible for the negligent transfer. Domain names, however, are unavoidably valuable pieces of Internet real estate.
Sex.com, wholly owned and operated by Grant Media, LLC, is the premium adult Internet search engine, receiving on average 150,000 - 200,000 unique users and 400,000+ page-views daily. A majority of the traffic is type-in adult traffic; many are first time surfers looking for specific adult content. Additionally Sex.com distributes its search results and banners to over 25 other search engines internationally. Sex.com is committed to maintaining a leadership position in the quality of our products and services. As a result of its strong adherence to the laws and practices in the global Internet community, Sex.com is able to ensure a safe, stable and growing online advertising environment.
For more information, please contact: Grant Media, LLC/Sex.com
Joanna Posner, JPosner@Sex.com, (858) 492-9447
Pamela Urueta, Urueta@KerrWagstaffe.com, (415) 371-8500