Kremen Loses Antitrust Case

Kremen Loses Antitrust Case
Michael Hayes
SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. District Court has dealt a blow to Gary Kremen, the original owner of the controversial Sex.com domain, in his antitrust case against the American Registry for Internet Numbers (ARIN).

Kremen, who filed suit against ARIN in April of last year acted too late, Judge James Ware said in his order to dismiss the case for failure to comply with the relevant statute of limitations.

The case against ARIN, which acts as a regional Internet registry, allocating blocks of IP addresses throughout North America, began as effort to enforce Ware’s 2001 court order to return Kremen’s hijacked URLs in the now infamous Sex.com litigation.

In April 2001 Kremen won a judgment against Stephen Cohen for stealing Sex.com. In his recent suit against ARIN, Kremen claimed that since the 2001 judgment, ARIN’s failure to turn over control of the Sex.com URL, as well as 5,000 additional domain names, thwarted his efforts to pursue various business strategies. The suit also charged that ARIN’s refusal to comply with Ware’s order allowed Cohen to unjustly benefit from his theft.

Kremen has sued ARIN for $15 million in compensatory damages and an additional $45 million in punitive damages — the maximum allowed under U.S. antitrust laws.

Ware granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss with prejudice.

Kremen told XBIZ he was appealing the court’s ruling, which he called a technicality.

Boston-based Escom purchased Sex.com in January 2006 for a reported $14 million.

In the meantime, Kremen’s legal battle against Cohen continues, with the domain hijacker now free by order of Judge Ware to gather documents that would enable him to pay the $65 million judgment against him.

To read the court document, click here.