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Bad domain karma : NiRA pulls the plug on Nigerian registrar, DomainKing.NG

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Nigeria’s Internet Registration Association (NiRA) has pulled the plug on DomainKing.NG, suspending its services.

The Nigerian registrar with direct ties to India, has been the focus of an Indian police investigation, after its founders were arrested earlier this month.

On top of fraud allegations, potential ties to support of terrorist activities are under investigation.

After numerous complaints to NiRA by Nigerian entrepreneurs using the DomainKing.NG services, NiRA took over the domain which currently displays the following message:

 This site is temporarily not available.  Kindly contact the .ng Registry via: Email: admin@nira.org.ng and/or Ms Busayo Atoki via +2348172004270, should you have further inquiries concerning domain name registration/renewals/transfers. Thank you.

The action by NiRA to shut down the Nigerian domain, was applauded by domain investor and entrepreneur, Rick Schwartz, who has been using the mark “DOMAIN KING” – a registered trademark in the US – for more than 20 years.

“This is what you call a “Sweet Revenge” by an innocent bystander. TIME cures all,” said Rick Schwartz in a comment.

“I hope they nail these infringing clowns, put them out of business and keep them locked up for a very long time. I think you can put this under the heading “BAD KARMA!!” exclaimed Rick Schwartz.

The apparent confusion arising from the use of DomainKing.NG as a domain services brand, despite its adoption many years after Rick Schwartz established his trademark, is demonstrated in the emails he receives on behalf of the Nigerian registrar’s customers:

“The site has been down for 3 days now,slowing down business and work flow. And the domainking.ng support isnt available and its becoming very frustrating. Please reach me asap. thanks for your help”

“I bought a domain from you guys about 20160609 and the domain has down for like 32hrs and is not coming up, I really need to know what going on…waiting for your reply.”

Despite losing the UDRP on DomainKing.biz, a domain owned by the Indian founders of DomainKing.NG, Rick Schwartz appears to have valid reasons to pursue legal action for trademark infringement and trademark dilution, seeking sizable damages.

For now, the Nigerian customers of DomainKing.NG continue to complain on the Facebook page of the Indian company.


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