I worked on the Beverly Hills BMW website from 1999 to 2003. A cybersquatter obtained the BeverlyHillsBMW.com website and wanted $10,000. BH BMW decided to go with BeverlyHillsBMW.net instead.
Within a couple of weeks I found out who was cybersquatting the .com website. It was a close friend of their web designer! They’d done this cybersquatting scam to BH Ford and other clients. I told them to release the domain name or I’d tell their clients about their scam. They would buy the main domain name themselves before they got the contract to design their website. I then purchased it and offered it for free to BH BMW. I instantly signed it over to BH BMW for no money. I received a “thank you” letter from Step Jones.
|Thank you letter from Step Jones of Beverly Hills BMW.|
BH BMW never put the paperwork through. I received a notice that they had not paid hosting. I paid hosting and even renewed the domain name. I again signed papers to transfer ownership. They again did not file the papers. The .com extension always pointed to BeverlyHillsBMW.net The website was always live the entire time I controlled the domain name.
BH BMW was bought out by Sonic Automotive. They reduced everyone’s salary and fired quite a few people including Klakauskas and Waddington. I continued to provide service for their website. I sent in a bill which they never paid.
In 2005 they realized that I controlled BeverlyHillsBMW.com and asked me to turn it over. I told them I’d turned it over three times before but they never finalized the transfer. They could pull up the old transfers and transfer it themselves. In the meantime I’d been paying for hosting, renewing the domain and working on search engine rank. I told them to pay my bill and I’d hand over the domain name again. They refused and sued me.
Statement of the AGM of BH BMW.
Statement of Waddington
Statement of Seth Waskow
My motion to strike Waskow’s statement
My motion in response to BMW
We finally settled. I transferred the domain name again and they paid my bill. They never should have sued me. They wasted $7,900 on legal fees and still had to pay my bill. They originally demanded that I turn over the domain name but refused to pay their outstanding bill. This could have been handled with a polite phone call but instead their lawyer wanted to make some money by turning it into a lawsuit.
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