cyberlaw


Traverse Internet Law runs into many web developer/client disputes. Oftentimes the problems are governed by the terms of the contract in place. However, Virginia has passed Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA), which requires web designers and developers to design, build and deliver a project “in accordance with industry standards and practices.”

A Virginia jury recently award $1,138,500 to Blue Line Media, Inc. against its web developer, Redmon Group, for violating this standard of care. At Traverse Internet Law we regularly counsel clients on how to establish appropriate performance standards and measurement benchmarks with an eye towards preventing a project failure.

Traverse Internet Law reports that a federal court in Northern California has awarded Verizon $50,000 per confusingly similar domain name registered by OnlineNIC, a registrar and the owner of the names. All 663 domain names sued upon were alleged to either be close misspellings of the Verizon name or contain the name itself. Verizon is part of a not for profit coaltion fonded last year that fights cybersquatting.

At Traverse Internet Law this case is helpful for those who push the envelope with domain name ownership. At $50,000 per domain name, which the Judge found to be a reasonable award, the practice of cybersquatting as a business strategy can get pretty costly.

At Traverse Internet Law we have defended many cases Microsoft has filed over the years. Usually they are settled and Microsoft is reasonable in the process. You generally cannot look to the amount of a judgment to really know what the settlement was since often there is a private settlement far lower in terms of dollars in the agreement. The judgment is entered and can be used by Microsoft to collect if the settlement agreement is violated by the Defendant.

In this case, the amount of judgment was $700,000 and not only did Microsoft rely upon the judgment terms to try and collect, but a criminal charge for contempt of court was brought when Carmelo Cerrelli allegedly continued to sell unlicensed copies of Microsoft software. Traverse Internet Law rarely sees things go this far in post judgment remedies. The Judge found him in criminal contempt of court and fined him an additional $100,000.