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VeriSign sues ICANN in state court

Following federal dismissal, domain name registry sues Net overseer for breach of contract.

VeriSign made good on a promise and took to state court its crusade against the organization that oversees the Net.

In a filing dated Aug. 27, VeriSign took the case that had just been dismissed in federal district court and amended it for a hearing in the California superior court in Los Angeles County.

Both the failed federal suit and the new state suit fault the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN--a private corporation created in 1998 by the U.S. government to oversee the Internet's address system--for putting a stop to or otherwise hindering services VeriSign tried to offer through its Network Solutions unit.

In the federal suit, VeriSign alleged antitrust violations. In the state suit, VeriSign contends that ICANN's actions violate the terms of a 2001 contract that gave VeriSign authority over the ".com" top-level domain.

"Were VeriSign to defer offering such services to the public during the effective period of the 2001 .com Registry Agreement, or to modify such services due to ICANN's conduct and threats, VeriSign will suffer irreparable losses of revenue from third parties, profits, market share, competitive position, reputation and good will," the filing states. "Furthermore, millions of Internet users will be deprived of the improved functionality and quality of VeriSign's services."

Disputed VeriSign services include Site Finder, which redirected mistyped Web addresses to a VeriSign search page; a wait list for acquiring expired domains; and the ConsoliDate service for managing multiple domains.

VeriSign did not return calls seeking comment. ICANN declined to comment on the filing.