25th Feb 2020

The dangers of failing to hand over a domain

What’s in a name?  An immediate 4-month prison sentence has been handed out after a defendant failed to comply with an order of the Court to transfer a domain name and Facebook page. 

The Claimant successfully pursued the Defendant for breaching an asset purchase agreement (“the APA”) between the parties.  The APA provided that the domain name and control of the Facebook page were to be assigned by the Defendant to the Claimant.

Even though the Claimant had secured a judgment in its favour the Defendant failed to comply with it and did not pass control of the domain name and Facebook page to the Claimant. 

The Claimant, in order to secure the asset that it had purchased (and which was confirmed by the court judgment in its favour), had to proceed through the court process, firstly obtaining an interim injunction with penal notice and then an order for committal to prison when the Defendant continued with their failure to comply.

The Defendant who repeatedly refused to comply with each successive court order was sentenced to 4 months in prison with immediate custody.

Original Alternative Ltd v Bayley and another [2019] EWHC 3629 (Ch) (4 December 2019)

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