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Vin Narayanan

Vin  Narayanan
Vin Narayanan is the former managing editor at Casino City and has been involved in the gaming industry for over a decade Vin is currently based in Hong Kong, where he runs his own consultant group and works as head of gaming and public relations for Mega Digital Entertainment Group.

Before joining Casino City, Vin covered (not all at the same time) sports, politics and elections, wars, technology, celebrities and the Census for, USA WEEKEND and CNN.

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Bodog loses domain names in patent infringement suit

29 Aug 2007

By Vin Narayanan

Calvin Ayre was forced to launch a new gambling Web site Wednesday after losing most of his domain names to 1st Technology LLC in a patent infringement dispute.

Last September, 1st Technology sued Bodog in a federal court in Nevada, alleging the online gaming company was illegally using a "method and system for interactively transmitting multimedia information over a network which requires a reduced bandwidth," according to court documents obtained by Casino City.

Bodog failed to appear in court to defend itself and lost the case by default. Judge Roger L. Hunt ordered Bodog to pay (including interest) $48,937,456 to 1st Technology in March for patent infringement.

The case then moved to the state of Washington this summer for enforcement, 1st Technology's attorney Venkat Balasubramani said. Bodog also failed to appear there.

"They've definitely been provided notices at various stages of both the lawsuit and the enforcement action," Balasubramani said. I can't speculate as to why they might have done that (not appeared). It's safe to assume they knew about it and definitely ignored it."

At the enforcement proceedings, 1st Technology noted Bodog had failed to respond to the default judgment and asked that all Bodog domains be confiscated and transferred to them. On Aug. 21, Judge John Erlick agreed, ordering all registrars to transfer Bodog related domains to the control of 1st Technology.

"The Court makes it clear that the intent of this Order is to allow the Plaintiff to liquidate or otherwise monetize the Domain Names without incurring any expense," said Erlick in the ruling. "Plaintiff may decide not to auction the domain names, and instead may operate the Domain Names in any manner it sees fit, including exploiting any traffic to the sites accessible via the domain names."

"Essentially, this is all to satisfy (1st Technology's) judgment," said Balasubramani, who specializes in commercial litigation that involves the Internet and technology.

And this is serious business for 1st Technology.

"1st Tech has a large multi-firm team dedicated to enforcing the judgment relative to Bodog, enforcing its rights in its intellectual property and protecting its intellectual property rights relative to others active in the U.S. market, and demonstrating that no company that has customers in the United States is above or beyond U.S. legal jurisdiction," said a company spokesman.

Bodog, for its part, doesn't appear to be ignoring this any longer. "1st Technology is in contact with Bodog's lawyers," the spokesman added.

Casino City contacted Bodog's media relations department Wednesday and was told that a response to the inquiries would come as soon as possible.

After losing its domain, Bodog initially informed the media and its customers that the company was encountering "DNS issues related to several of its Web sites."

Tuesday evening, Bodog launched and directed its customer base to the new site which was offering "the same Web site, same brand, same product, and same service. Just a new domain name."

Ayre later posted on that his company was involved in a legal dispute that included the rights to the domain names.

"This is the result of a legal dispute over the ownership of the," Ayre said. "We are fighting this dispute. We are confident that we will win, but until all is settled, I do not want our battle to interrupt your play."

If Ayre is trying to intimidate 1st Technology, it's not working.

"1st Technology is in this for the long-haul as necessary," the firm's spokesman said.

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