Classified Advertiser Dominion Enterprises Files Cybersquatting Action Against Copycat.

ALEXANDRIA, June 5, 2009 -- Prolific classified advertiser Dominion Enterprises initiated a cybersquatting action on the U.S, District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia is sieze the domain name being used by a copycat.

The Norfolk-based partnership publishes numerous targeted publication consisting primarily of classified advertisements, titles such as For Rent, Homes.com, The Employment Guide, RV Trader, Cycle Trader, and Equipment Trader. These publication have online counterparts on the web at: forrent.com, homes.com, rvtrader.com, cycletrader.com and equipmenttraderonline.com.

Dominion Enterprises also operates a site at www.dominionenterprises.com which serves as a central location from which all the aforementioned sites can be accessed. In other words, "a one-stop place where businesses and customers can go to learn about Dominion and the various opportunities available to them through Dominion's many businesses and services."

The complaint alleges that someone using a stolen identity registered the domain www.dominionenterprisesco.com in April, 2009 with the intent to trade on Dominion's goodwill and divert users to Dominion's detriment.

Dominion learned of the site when a customer alleged complained of an nearly identical site prominently displaying the trademark DOMINION ENTERPRISES in addition to copying much of the original's content and formating.

In addition to having paid ads which would have gone to Dominion Enterprises, the complaint also alleges that the offending site also contains bogus ads containing contact information for persons associated with the registrant.

Despite established use of the trademark DOMINION ENTERPRISES, the federal application filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office on behalf of Dominion was filed as an intent-to-use application. An intent-to-use application is appropriate when a party wants to register a trademark they have not used yet in interstate commerce.

Cybersquatting is prohibited under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). Cybersquatting involves registering, trafficking in, or using a domain name with bad faith intent to profit from a trademark belonging to someone else. The action brought by Dominion is an in rem proceeding which means the property in dispute is before the court instead of any person or organization as a defendant. The ACPA allows the owner of a trademark to take possession of an offending domain when the registrant is located out the U.S. or can not be determined through legal means.

Notwithstanding having no individuals or organizations named as defendants, the complaint also contains claims based on trademark infringement of the mark DOMINION ENTERPRISES and unfair competition.

In its complaint, Dominion Enterprises claims to have a combined weekly circulation of 4.3 million weekly with the web sites averaging more than 16.7 million visitors monthly.

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