Match.com Seeks to Take Down XXXMatch.com, EroticMatch.com

Rhett Pardon

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Online personals giant Match.com has asked a federal court to place an injunction over the operation of XXXMatch.com and EroticMatch.com, claiming that the sites are a rip off of its 17-year-old brand and confusing its customers.

The lawsuit, filed Monday, also says that the operators have lifted and embellished its slogan, "Love is complicated, Match.com is simple" for one of the sites.  EroticMatch, the suit says, uses the slogan, "Love is complicated, sex is simple" in marketing materials.

Defendants named in the suit include the officers and directors of Fiesta Catering International, which owns the familiar brands SexSearch.com, Orgasm.com, ManLink.com, HookUpPartners.com, SlutSeeker.com and numerous others.

Match.com attorneys, who filed the case at U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., said that XXXMatch.com and EroticMatch.com's operators are in violation of Section 32 of the Lanham Act because the sites are likely to mislead consumers and potential consumers that their services are affiliated with Match.com

"The XXXMatch.com and EroticMatch.com websites were designed by defendants to make consumers believe mistakenly that the dating services offered through them are associated with Match.com service, and that they emanate from Match.com, thus trading off of Match.com's goodwill," the suit said.

Both XXXMatch.com and EroticMatch.com offer online adult personals, using sexy avatars to guide users through a battery of erotic questions for the right match. The member sites can be accessed for $30 a month, with three- and 12-month packages available.

Match.com, meanwhile, sells basic memberships for $40 a month, with discounts for three- and six-month packages.

Match.com is asking the court to restrain Fiesta Catering's operators from using the website names and slogans, as well as treble damages on all profits realized in conjunction with the use of the brands.

Match.com also is asking for Fiesta Catering to abandon an application to register trademarks at issue in the case. According to U.S Patent and Trademark applications, Fiesta Catering filed for marks relative to the tagline at issue in the case and XXXMatch.com last year.

XBIZ was unable to reach Fiesta Catering operators for comment on the suit.

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