The legal struggle for control of the nissan.com domain has taken a very unexpected turn. A lawsuit was filed by the estate of the domain’s late owner in Virginia last summer. The suit is against an unidentified thief who took control of the domain and stripped control from host GKG.net, the Drive reports. The host has acknowledged the theft but won’t assist the estate.
Famously, the Nissan Motor Corporation doesn’t own either the nissan.com or nissan.net domains. Uzi Nissan registered the names in 1994 for his retail computer business. The automaker claimed that Mr. Nissan was squatting on the domains and took legal action in 1999. The suit dragged on for nearly a decade and cost the small businessman $3 million, but the court ruled in his favor. The car manufacturer continues to use nissanusa.com.
Uzi Nissan died in 2020. He properly maintained the domains until his death and ownership passed on to his estate, which continued upkeep. At some point after Nissan’s death, someone stole the domains. The Drive reports that GKG.net admitted the strange digital heist did happen:
However, at an unknown point following Uzi’s passing, his family found his GKG.net domain management account no longer controlled Nissan.com or Nissan.net. The Nissan family believes someone accessed Uzi’s account and transferred control of the domains, stating it had “been made aware of communications” from someone “who impersonated family members of Mr. Nissan and sought to sell the domain names.” The estate said GKG.net “did not deny, dispute, or question” that the domains “were transferred without authorization,” but declined to assist in their return or identify the thief.
Both the nissan.com and nissan.net websites have been taken down. The surreal saga continues for what are clearly two of the most sought-after domain names on the internet.