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3 L.A. Internet Firms, 2 Execs Sued by Scouts Over Porn

3 L.A. Internet Firms, 2 Execs Sued by Scouts Over Porn
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Feb 28, 2006 4:37 PM PST    Text size: 
ST. LOUIS — Three Los Angeles Internet companies and two of their company executives have been accused in a lawsuit by a Girl Scouts chapter of cybersquatting on the organization’s domain name to lure surfers to porn sites.

La Porte Holdings Inc., Oversee.net and Nameking.com are named in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis this week. The suit, which also names Vy Tran and Lawrence Ng, seeks injuctive relief, transfer of the domains, punitive damages and attorneys fees.

The Girl Scouts Council of Greater St. Louis accuses the defendants of infringing on trademarks, including "Girl Scouts" and "Cookie Sales," to prey upon young girls for commercial profit.

The Scouts own and operate the website GSCGCL.org to promote, market and advertise their services.

The suit claims the defendants registered the domain name GSCGCL.com to lure Girl Scouts and people interested in the Scouts to other sites. The defendants’ sites contain “Girls Gone Wild” DVDs, St. Louis Sex Personals and links to XXX videos and picture galleries.

The suit also said that the defendants use Scouts trademarks on their site, such as “Girl Scout Council of Greater St. Louis,” “GSCGSL,” “Girl Scouts” and “Cookie Sales.”

“Apparently recognizing the great value and reputation of plaintiff’s Girl Scout marks, and desiring to illegally benefit and trade upon the great value and traffic generated by plaintiff’s Girl Scout marks, defendants registered the domain www.GSCGSL.com,” the suit said.

After the registration, the Scouts said, the defendants linked the domain to its own site.

It’s not the first time the companies have been sued for cybersquatting.

The defendants also have been sued by Dell, United Health Group, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Kellogg North America, Encyclopedia Britannica, CUNA Mutual Insurance Society and the Iowa Sports Foundation for cybersquatting, the suit said.

“Defendants’ pattern and practice of wrongful conduct in connection with the registration and use of domain names, and the improper disparagement and tarnishment of others’ marks, is well-established and irrefutable,” the suit said.

At post time Tuesday evening, XBiz could not reach the defendants for comment.

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