Short Term Lender Uses Trademark Law to Stop Scheme To Sell Personal Information.

ALEXANDRIA, April 29, 2009 -- Short term lender First Cash Advance filed a federal lawsuit today against a Malaysian cybersquatter engaged in a scheme to gather and sell person information.

According to the complaint filed today by First Cash Ltd., commonly known as First Cash Advance, a Malaysian entity named Apple Chay registered the domain name www.firstcashadvance.com in an effort to gather and ultimately sell personal information.

Allegedly, visitors to the site are duped into thinking they are contacting the Texas based short term lender to obtain funds. After completely a "phoney" application, the visitor's personal information is sold to third parties. In addition to potentially causing harm to the applicants, First Cash Ltd. also argues the scheme interferes with their business opportunties.

First Cash Ltd. claims in their complaint that they began using the trademark FIRST CASH ADVANCE on November 8, 1999. Generally speaking, the first party to use a mark has the superior claim of ownership.

The Whois registry of web domain registrations indicates that Apple Chay registered the domain www.firstcashadvance.com on February 10, 2003.

Cybersquatting has been defined as registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.

First Cash Ltd. is seeking an injunction ordering the registry of the domain to transfer ownership of www.firstcashadvance.com to First Cash Ltd. In addition to a claim of cyberpiracy, the complaint also contains counts for trademark infringement and unfair competition.

The Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act allows the owner of the trademark is bring a lawsuit to seek ownership of a domain name that has been registered by a foreigner with a bad intent to capitalize of the good will of the trademark.

According to the records of the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), First Cash Ltd. registered the mark FIRST CASH ADVANCE on January 20, 2009.

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