Ashley Furniture files cybersquatting lawsuit against owner of 123 domain names
Thursday, September 20th, 2012
Company says defendant used to work at ad agency that catered to home furnishings companies.
Now the company is turning to the courts in a dispute against a Maryland man.
The company just filed suit (pdf) against Jon Parks, who the company alleges violated the Anti-Cybersquatting Protection Act by registering 123 domain names that include its marks.
Some of the domain names at issue include ashleybed.com, ashleychair.com, ashleyfurni.com, ashleyarizona.com, and ashleyfurnitureashleyfurniture.com. You can see all 123 here.
Parks’ LinkedIn profile shows that he previously worked for Horich Parks Lebow Advertising. Ashley Furniture claims this is an advertising agency that is used by Ashley retailers and other home furnishing companies.
Ashley Furniture claims that Parks tried to cancel the registration of the domain names that include “ashley” and a furniture term after receiving a demand letter. Indeed, when I look up many of the domain names there is no longer a registrant listed in whois.
The company alleges that Parks continues to hold onto domains that include “ashley” and a geographic location, such as AshleyGeorgia.com:
Mr. Parks refuses to transfer the Infringing Domain Names that he continues to own to Ashley and disingenuously claims he intended to register domains corresponding with the female name, “Ashley” or a geographic location. Mr. Parks’ previous work in the advertising industry for furniture companies, including Ashley’s customers, combined with his registration of domains like ashleybed.com, ashleychair.com and ashleyfurnitureashleyfurniture.com clearly refute any innocent explanation for registering 123 domain names incorporating the ASHLEY trademark.
The furniture company is asking for up to $100,000 per domain name in damages.