The firm behind the Ethereum Name Service has filed a lawsuit against its competitor in the domain field, GoDaddy. The lawsuit surrounds the sale of a web domain that was previously owned by ENS.

Ethereum Name Service files lawsuit against GoDaddy

The lawsuit has been filed by True Names Ltd. In the lawsuit, the company alleges that GoDaddy has wrongly classified the domain as expired, after which this domain was sold to a third party.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are True Names and Virgil Griffith. The latter is currently serving a prison sentence after he was convicted earlier this year over a breach of contract. True Names and Griffith have filed the lawsuit against GoDaddy in the US District Court for the District of Arizona.

Besides GoDaddy, two other companies have also been involved in the lawsuit, including Dynadot and Manifold Finance. The plaintiffs are represented by the Crowell & Moring LLP law firm.

Ethereum Name Service provides decentralized names that can be used as a replacement for default alphanumeric Ethereum wallet addresses. The ENS service is widely used by Ethereum decentralized applications (DApps). The ENS service provided the domain that allows the use of cryptocurrency addresses within web browsers, which is the domain ENS had listed with GoDaddy.

True Names claims ownership of the domain name

Griffith and True Name have claimed to be the first holders of the domain in question. True Names said it used the domain to conduct its operations. It also said that Griffith, a former company employee, initially owned the domain.

In 2019, Griffith was at the center of controversies after he was accused of helping North Korea evade sanctions. This was after Griffith gave a speech about cryptocurrencies in North Korea. Griffith was convicted and sentenced to a jail term of 63 months.

According to True Names, the company failed to renew the domain name in July this year after Griffith was sentenced to jail. However, they claimed that within the grace period given after the domain expiry, the company re-registered the name, which was done via the easyDNS service on behalf of Tue Names.

However, GoDaddy failed to recognize this and later declared the domain expired. However, the domain had been re-registered on August 25, according to the complaint. The plaintiffs further state that GoDaddy proceeded to sell the domain to Dynadot on September 3 while failing to notify the plaintiffs. They also say that GoDaddy failed to respond to numerous requests regarding the sale of the domain.

After Dynadot acquired the domain, they sold it on September 3 for $852,000 to Manifold Finance, a crypto project that also offers crypto staking services. Manifold Finance has since confirmed via a tweet that it acquired the domain.

After losing this domain name, True Names has started using the domain name as the new gateway for Ethereum Name Service names. The founder of ENS, Nick Johnson, had expressed his disappointment in GoDaddy for selling the domain name before the company was given a chance to reclaim it. GoDaddy is yet to issue an official statement regarding this lawsuit.