The holder of .wallet on Handshake asks the court to allow him to intervene.
The holder of the .wallet top-level domain in Handshake, Scott Florcsk, filed in court to intervene in a lawsuit related to the domain.
Unstoppable Domains, one of several competing blockchain domain initiatives, filed a lawsuit against Gateway Registry and its owner in July. The company claimed that by offering second-level .wallet domain registrations, Gateway violated Unstoppable’s .wallet domain rights.
The lawsuit did not name Florcsk even though Florcsk contacted Unstoppable’s attorney after Unstoppable sent a cease and desist letter to Gateway, according to Florcsk’s motion.
Gateway decided not to fight the lawsuit and to close.
Unstoppable’s request for a court injunction included language that would likely prevent Florcsk from selling second-level .wallet domains with another technology partner. He therefore filed a motion to intervene today. The motion states:
On August 19, 2022, the plaintiff filed a motion for default judgment and an order granting a permanent injunction against the defendants. (DI 18). However, in its request for relief, the plaintiff clarified that the permanent injunction should apply not only to the defendants, but also to “other persons who are in concert or actively involved with” the defendants. (Idem, n° 6; DI 17 [Proposed Order]). Plaintiff is clearly attempting to broaden the scope of the relief it seeks from the Court to encompass the proposed intervenor’s use of the .WALLET TLD on the Handshake blockchain. And if the extent of the relief requested by the plaintiff includes the proposed intervener, it is imperative that he be allowed to intervene and defend his rights in the .WALLET TLD.
In the motion, Florcsk alleges that Unstoppable filed a lawsuit against Gateway and its owner, knowing they lacked the financial resources to respond, and argued that it was part of the lawsuit’s strategy.
He also pointed out that Unstoppable does not have a trademark for Wallet. Unstoppable noted its pending trademark registration for Wallet in its legal documents, but did not mention that the trademark is currently in a denied state.
Florcsk argues that there is no risk of confusion in blockchain domains because, unlike domains regulated by ICANN, they exist on independent blockchains:
Unstoppable further understands that there is no risk of confusion between the .WALLET TLD on the Handshake blockchain and the .WALLET TLD on the Unstoppable blockchain. Similar to shopping carts in a store, while two shopping carts may look exactly the same in the abstract, if a Walmart shopping cart can only be used in Walmart and a Costco shopping cart cannot can be used only in Costco, a consumer could never be confused as to which shopping cart they are using for shopping. If the consumer is at Walmart, they must use a Walmart cart, and if they are at Costco, they must use a Costco cart. Thus, the use of TLDs like .WALLET on the Handshake blockchain can never be confused with the .WALLET domain on the Unstoppable blockchain because a consumer cannot be on both blockchains at the same time.
After Unstoppable Domains filed a lawsuit, Florcsk sent an appeal to the Handshake community asking for financial assistance to defend the domain. It’s unclear if anyone has stepped in to help, although Namecheap’s CEO has indicated on Twitter that he may be providing some support. Namecheap operates a rival to Gateway.
Eugene Rome of Rome & Associates represents Flocsk.