The 9th circuit recently held that the re-registration of a domain name was not the same as an initial registration for purposes of forming bad faith in a cybersquatting claim. The defendant in GoPets Ltd.v Hise, 657 F.3rd 1024 (9th Cir. 2011) registered the domain name "gopets.com" for a school related marketing project. After the registration, the plaintiff started a business called GoPets and tried to purchase the domain name from the defendant. Because the registraiton occured prior to the founding of GoPets, the defendant did not have bad faith for cybersquatting purposes. Later, the defendant transferred the domain name to his corporation and the plaintiff filed a cybersquatting case against the defendent.
The court noted that the words "register" and "registration" are not defined in the AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The court went on to list the various scenarios which could arguably constitute a registration such as changing the administrative contact, making the registration private, switching registristrars and even renewing the registration. The court opted not to permit such a broad view of the registration in holding for the defendant. This contrasts Schmidheiny v. Weber, 319 F.3rd 581 (3d. Cir. 2003). However, the Schmidheiny decision related to re-registration of a registration that occurred before the enactment of the ACPA and also related to registrations of the names of living people.