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ICM’s claims against Manwin thrown out of court

Kevin Murphy, February 28, 2013, 15:11:46 (UTC), Domain Registries

ICM Registry has suffered a blow in its ongoing lawsuit with porn merchant Manwin Licensing, with a judge this week dismissing all of the registry’s counterclaims against the YouPorn owner.

ICM was sued by Manwin on antitrust grounds in late 2011, but returned fire last October with is own set of allegations, which also included claims that Manwin’s boycott of .xxx was anti-competitive.

But the judge in the case, Philip Gutierrez, on Tuesday granted Manwin’s motion to dismiss all of ICM’s claims.

Gutierrez ruled that ICM had failed to argue it had standing to complain under competition law, stating: “Harm to ICM only is not sufficient to constitute antitrust injury. It must allege harm to the competitive process.”

He also granted Manwin’s motion to strike ICM’s claims under California’s anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) laws, which are designed to protect free speech.

The judge decided that Manwin’s boycott of .xxx was protected under the anti-SLAPP statute.

ICM is now entitled to re-draft and re-submit its counterclaims; if it does not do so it will have to pay Manwin’s legal fees in connection with the anti-SLAPP action, Gutierrez ruled.

“The judge has granted us 30 days to amend our counterclaims. We are exploring all options open to us,” ICM CEO Stuart Lawley said.

Manwin’s owner, Fabian Thylmann, was arrested in Brussels last December and extradited to Germany to face charges of tax evasion.

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Comments (3)

  1. Nice find, Kevin. Of course, ICANN has not yet posted the updated docket on its own website, despite assurances it would be posting legal documents in a more timely manner.

  2. Don says:

    I wonder how much longer it will take until ICM Registry throws in the towel. Back in January CPAGlobal ran a story about the .xxx tld and claimed that only 0.56% of all adult oriented websites were using a .xxx domain.

    If those numbers are correct, we must ask ourselves: Do the operators of adult sites have a problem with the (idea of a) .xxx tld or with the company currently running the tld? Either way, things don’t look good for ICM Registry.

    • Rubens Kuhl says:

      Most porn sites don’t want to make easier for them to be filtered out and blocked out, so I don’t think they really cares about the company running it, its policies or its pricing.

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