Neiman Marcus Accuses Owners of Web Domains for Diverting Business.

SHERMAN, April 17, 2009 -- The Neiman Marcus Group filed a federal lawsuit against the owners of several domain names today for diverting business away from its Last Call stores by pleading trademark infringement and cybersquatting.

The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc.(Neiman Marcus) began operating retail stores and mail order catalogs under the LAST CALL brand in 1979. The stores carry a variety of merchandise, including but not limited to clothing, shoes, accessory items, health and beuaty products, kitchen wares and jewelry.

The defendants Alvin Green and Rosanna Silverio allegedly began operating a business called Last Call Sale Advertising and registered the domains www.lastcallsale.com and www.lastcallsale.net on February 14, 2007. The defendants apparently used these sites to sell advertisements and links to other commercial web sites, many of which allegedly offer goods similar or competing with the Last Call stores.

After attempting to resolve the situation, Neiman Marcus filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum (NAF) under the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy on Fenruary 2, 2009 to make a determination of ownership of the www.lastcallsale.com and www.lastcallsale.net domains. The NAF panel that handled the matter issued an order on March 25, 2009 to the defendants to transfer ownership of the domains to Neiman Marcus.

The federal complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas accuses the defendants of registering the following domains between February 11, 2009 and March 28, 2009: lastcallsales.com, lastcallsales.net, lastcallsell.com. lastcallsell.net, lastcallcoupon.com, lastcallcoupons.com, lastcalldiscounts.com, lastcallsaving.com, lastcallsavings.comlastcallclassifieds.com, lastcallsale.info, lastcallplace.com, lastcallsearch.com, and lastcalltrade.com.

Neiman Marcus has federally registered the trademark LAST CALL and has been using the domain name www.lastcall.com in connection with their business.

The complaint filed contains a claims for cybersquatting, which 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. Under 15 U.S.C. 1117, Neiman Marcus could recover as much as $100,000 for each domain name found to constitute cybersquatting.

Pursuant to the Lanham Act, Neiman Marcus could recover defendants' profits and any damages sustained by the plaintiff. In assessing damages the court may enter judgment for any sum above the amount found as actual damages, up to three times. When a court finds a defendant intentionally counterfeited a registered trademark, the court must, unless the court finds extenuating circumstances, enter judgment for three times such profits or damages, whichever is greater, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee unless the Plaintiff elects for statutory damages up to $1,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed.

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