iBoats.com sues owner of iBoatCovers.com

Company tries to protect its descriptive brand.

iBoats.comiBoats.com has filed a lawsuit (pdf) against a Georgia company for alleged cybersquatting and trademark infringement.

The company claims that Shoplio’s iBoatCovers.com web site infringes on its registered tradmearks for iBoats and iBoats.com.

Shoplio runs a number of niche online stores, somewhat similar to how CSN Stores/Wayfair used to operate.

It has at least six online stores dedicated solely to covers, including JustMotorcycleCovers.com, Buy-RV-Covers.com, and AllGrillCovers.com.

Apparently it irked iBoats.com when it started advertising on Google Adwords for searches for “iBoats” and “iBoats.com”.

iBoats.com also alleges that Shoplio blocked the plaintiff’s IP address from accessing its iBoatCovers.com web site, forwarding them to eBoatCovers.com instead.

A fairly descriptive term such as iBoats.com is harder to protect than generic or branded domains, but perhaps iBoats.com has a point here. It depends on all of the facts.


  1. Curtis says

    Looks like a classic bullying tactic. Small new guy enters a market and takes away business by doing a better job than the old guys. Old guys sue new guy.

  2. Curtis says

    Seems pretty legit to me. If they tried to sell phones on iphone.com apple would have a fit – rightfully so. Sadly most people think big guy sues little guys when a company(big or small) tries to protect its copyrights. When as far as anyone knows, iboatscovers.com is a scam site, especially if they really did block ips and try to cover up their tactics(very black hat).

  3. Curtis says

    Looks like Shoplio has since renamed iBoatCovers.com to BuyMarineCovers.com so obviously it’s not a scam site. If you compare iBoats.com to BuyMarineCovers.com, there is no comparison. Shoplio is clearly better at selling boat covers than iBoats.com. There’s a reason iBoats.com immediately sued Shoplio yet they haven’t gone after the likes of “iBoatStore.com, iBoatWorld.com, etc.” I’m also surprised Shoplio didn’t just sue to defeat the “iboats” trademark. Much stronger trademarks have been defeated before.

  4. andrew says

    They won’t win this. The i-prefix is used so widely and understood to mean “internet”. The only foul play is bidding on the trademark iBoats which is laughable at best.

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