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GoDaddy’s Forum Selection Clause Binds Domain Registrant In Third Party Lawsuit

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A recent decision by the United States District Court for the District of Arizona held, albeit in a default context, that a domain registrar’s forum selection clause in its registration agreement bound the domain registrant not just in a dispute with the registrar, but with a third party.  In LimoStars, Inc. v. New Jersey Car and Limo, Inc., the domain registrar was GoDaddy, which designated Arizona in its forum selection clause, and the domain owner was a New Jersey corporation.  The Court held the New Jersey corporation subject to personal jurisdiction in Arizona in a trademark infringement action brought by a third party.

So paying attention to a registrar’s forum selection clause may help companies anticipate where they might be sued if there’s a dispute about their domain names.  Also, companies with a claim involving another’s domain name may consider the registrar’s forum selection clause when deciding where to file suit.