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Barnett v. Network Solutions, Inc., 38 S.W.3d 200 (Tex. App. 2001) (full-text).

Factual Background[]

Barnett applied to Network Solutions, Inc. (NSI) and received several domain names after signing an electronic contract. He alleged in his complaint that he did not receive all of the domain names he paid for.

The forum selection clause in NSI's contract for assigning and registering domain names provided that all disputes with NSI must be brought in Virginia. NSI moved to dismiss, relying on the forum selection clause. The trial court agreed, dismissing the case, and the appellate court affirmed.

Appellate Court Proceedings[]

Plaintiff argued that NSI, which was the only domain name registrar when Barnett signed up, used the forum selection clause to discourage legitimate claims. The appellate court noted that when it was the sole registrar, NSI registered over six million names worldwide, and concluded that the forum selection clause was valid to prevent lawsuits being filed everywhere.

Barnett also argued that because NSI was a monopoly, its electronic contract was void. The court ruled that there was no evidence that NSI used its monopoly power unfairly.