Bodog.com Gambling Domain Name Comes HomeBy: Adam Baker, Thursday June 11th 2009
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In September 2006 1st technology filed a suit against Bodog Entertainment Group in a federal court in Nevada. The allegation was that Bodog was using a method of transmitting multimedia information online that had been patented by 1st Technology and was therefore being illegally used. 1st Technology was headed by Dr. Scott Lewis. Bodog did not appear in court and lost the case by default. It was ordered to pay almost $49 million to 1st Technology by March 2007 for patent infringement. When Bodog did not make the payment by March 2007 the case was moved to the enforcement court in Washington. In August 2007 Bodog did not appear again. Therefore 1st Technology asked for all Bodog domains be confiscated and transferred to them. The order effecting this transfer was passed on Friday August 21.
On Tuesday August 25 Ayre shifted the Bodog brands to the newly launched newbodog.com. At that web site he explained the legal situation that Bodog was facing. Later the brands were shifted to Bodoglife.com. Ayre then filed a motion to set aside the default order and other claims that 1st Technology was making. Ayre explained why Bodog did not turn up for any of the hearings. He said that the notices were being served to a defunct company in Costa Rica and therefore he was unaware of what had transpired.
In October 2007 the Nevada court refused to reverse the default judgment and hence the domain name ownership rested with 1st Technology. However the court ruled that Bodog.com would have to redirect traffic to Bodoglife.com. The Bodog trademark also remained with Ayre. After this judgment a bitter war of words was unleashed between Ayre and Lewis. Ayre called Lewis a patent troll in his blogs and alleged that Lewis all along had aimed to grab the domain name to force a monetary settlement. Ayre challenged Lewis to a boxing match to settle the issue. Lewis accused Ayre of hiding facts. Meanwhile the Bodog brands were operating through Bodoglife.com without a hitch.
In September 2007 Ayre sold the American facing brand to MMGG. Alwyn Morris, the CEO of MMGG, is an Olympic gold medalist, an Order of Canada recipient and a highly respected member of the Mohawk tribe of Kahnawake. Morris considered that Bodog.com was a part of Bodog history and one of the most recognizable domain names in the history of online gaming. He therefore arrived at a settlement with Lewis and acquired the ownership of Bodog.com. An elated Morris said, "We are absolutely thrilled to be able to return the Bodog experience to its rightful home – the reaction of staff and key suppliers has been thunderous." MMGG's Bodog operations will shift to Bodog.com. MMGG has also finalized an agreement with Bodog Antigua, the licensors of the Bodog brand, by which the players from other jurisdictions logging on to Bodog.com will be redirected to their brands. Thus one of the bitterest battles in the online gaming history has had a happy ending.
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