[arin-ppml] Borders sells their /16 block

John Curran jcurran at arin.net
Wed Dec 7 13:32:29 EST 2011

On Dec 7, 2011, at 2:20 PM, John Curran wrote:

> On Dec 7, 2011, at 2:12 PM, Benson Schliesser wrote:
>> To an extent, this has been acknowledged by the US courts as they've recognized the exclusive rights of a seller to transfer IP addresses as an asset.
> Benson - 
>  Please provide a citation for the above, because I am not aware
>  of any court ruling to this effect.  The only findings that I am 
>  aware of are rulings that support the sale of an address holders
>  rights in an address block in a manner that does not interfere with
>  ARIN and ARIN community's rights with respect to the address block.

For the purposes of saving some time (since everyone is going to 
go looking for much of the same information), let me outline the 
Nortel/MSFT outcome:

To be clear, Nortel did transfer its rights of certain address
registrations to Microsoft.  Rights can indeed be treated as an
asset of an estate (e.g. airspace rights, mining rights, license
rights) but that does not mean that the underlying item is a form
of "free and clear" property, only that something (often limited in
nature) has been transferred.

The original sale order would have transferred Nortel's rights and
interests "free and clear" to Microsoft.  ARIN filed an objection 
with the court, and the parties were able to work out an amended 
sale and court order which was satisfactory.  The parties (Nortel 
and Microsoft) jointed submitted a revised sales order that said the 
addresses "will be placed under a registration services agreement 
(LRSA) between ARIN and Microsoft", and draft court order that read 
"For avoidance of doubt, this Order shall not affect the LRSA 
and Purchaser's rights in Internet Numbers transferred pursuant to 
this Order shall be subject to the terms of the LRSA".  Microsoft 
entered into an RSA (Registration Services Agreement) with ARIN, 
which delineated their rights applicable to their use of the number
resources. In summary, this case's outcome was that it was in all 
parties interests to deal only with those rights that the Internet 
number registry system (in this case ARIN) indicated were available 
to the address holder, as opposed to a sale "free and clear" as has
been otherwise suggested.


John Curran
President and CEO

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