As noted previously on this blog, the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (“ACPA”) permits litigation to be filed against an infringing domain name itself, not just against the owner of the domain name. Which entity should file responsive pleadings in such a case, the domain name or its owner? In Sauikit LLC v. Cydia.com, the Eastern District of Virginia opined that form should not prevail over substance.
Saurikit brought an action against the domain name cydia.com alleging violations of the ACPA. Defendant’s Answer stated that Cykon Technology (“Cykon”) owned the domain name, but the defendant’s attorney signed the answer “Counsel for Cydia.com” instead of “Counsel for Cykon.” Saurikit moved for judgment on the pleadings, arguing that there was no answer on file by a claimant since the property rather than the owner of the property filed the Answer.
A successful judgment on the pleadings requires the moving party to demonstrate that no issues of material fact exist and that it is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In deciding a motion for a judgment on the pleadings, courts view the facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party.