PHOENIX — Adult entertainment directory site Slixa.com has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court against Vibe Media, the owners of CityVibe.com, for trade dress infringement and violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Adult entertainment attorney Marc Randazza is representing MN Works, the company that launched Slixa.
Slixa alleges that the defendants, including Vibe Media President Alix Kari, “knowingly and intentionally” accessed MN Works’ computers for the purpose of copying its web pages, design, features and trade dress. The plaintiffs underscored the defendant’s exact replication of its VIP profile pages.
“We had a number of customers contact us asking why CityVibe’s new VIP ads suddenly look like our profile pages," a Slixa spokesperson said. "In fact, that’s how we initially discovered that Vibe Media had basically repurposed our layouts on their own site.”
According to the court document, Slixa’s layout has a patented “unique look and feel” that the plaintiffs attribute to the site’s refusal to accept third party advertising or display advertising banners, as well as their entertainer ads, which they say resemble centerfold layouts in fashion magazines.
The document stated that CityVibe removed third-party ads and ad banners from its site and reformatted its entertainer ads in the exact style of its competitor, Slixa, only following the latter’s launch in 2012.
“The new ‘Slixa style’ VIP ads on this competitor’s site are a direct rip-off of Slixa’s distinctive new design,” a Slixa spokesperson said. “From what we’ve seen, Vibe Media is attempting to mislead Internet users to believe that Slixa and CityVibe are related entities or that Slixa, having just launched their directory, copied the style of CityVibe. This is a tremendous slight to our creative team who has worked hard to produce a truly one-of-a-kind adult services directory.”
The plaintiffs said they are "troubled" because CityVibe is a more established adult directory than Slixa, making Slixa particularly vulnerable, financially and reputation-wise, to CityVibe's actions.
The plaintiffs seek restitution in the form of attorney fees and reimbursement for any financial losses suffered from the infringement of their intellectual property. MN Works also demands that Vibe Media remove the offending style replications from their site and refrain from further infringement and unlawful use of their computer systems.