Three friends and I have started an internet startup. Since we didn't really have much legal information and we all are friends, we never had any NDA in place or any IP protection. Now, we are having issues with one of the partners due to his negligence towards work and not coming to office and performing his duties. We tried to talk to him many times but he wouldn't change his attitude and so finally we decided to terminate his partnership and association with the project and the firm. However, the domain name for our project was booked from his personal email id and he now threatens to keep it with himself. The payment for the same was made by my credit card. Is it possible that I could somehow get the control of the domain name account ? What should I do in this case ?
Had a very similar case about 3 years ago. My client had to actually file suit to have the founder turn the domain name over. It was all over pretty quick -- we filed suit, had a hearing within about 5 days, and the domain name was officially transferred back within about 2 weeks.
It's quite unlikely that the domain registrar would do the transfer -- they're used to people calling and trying to scam illegitimate domain name transfers. Can't hurt, but I suspect that they'll respond with "get a court order and we'll do it."
An alternate approach is to offer to pay him to do the transfer quietly -- it may cost the company $5K or so to get a court to order the change, and possibly an equal amount of his money. You'd both be better off just paying him $2K.
Speak to the domain registrar that the domain name is registered with. Each may have varying policies on how to handle this.
If you do still find out that you require this persons cooperation to get it sorted, then I would try being as nice as possible and negotiating with the person. Pursuing this legally would no doubt cost much more than is viable.