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Domainer Caught Off Guard After Being Named in Apparel Counterfeiting Lawsuit

Domainer with parked domain name ensnared in lawsuit.

Imagine you’re a domain investor, just going along and buying domain names and parking them like everyone else. You know you may get hit with a cease & desist every once in a while from an aggressive trademark lawyer. But that’s about it.

But then one day you find yourself named in a massive apparel counterfeiting ring.

That’s what happened to VL Raymer. Raymer owns the domain name Primp.com and has owned it since 1998, she says. In May this year, Industry Concept Holdings Inc. and Primp Inc filed a lawsuit against Raymer and at least 10 other parties on a number of charges related to counterfeiting Primp goods. According to the suit (originally filed under seal):

13. Plaintiffs are informed and believe and thereupon allege that at all times relevant hereto defendant VL RAYMER is based at P.O. Box 1118 Gilroy, CA 95021 and has advertised, distributed, offered for sale, and sold merchandise wrongfully bearing counterfeits and infringements of Primp’s Primp Trademarks and Copyrighted Works on primp.com in this judicial district and the State of California.

A look at historical thumbnails for Primp.com shows nothing but parked pages.

Further perplexing Raymer was this statement in the original lawsuit:

Upon information and belief, Elgort, Lorber, Montoya, Payne, Garcia, Pacific Apparel, LLC, Saenz, Hautelook, Marquette Commercial Finance and VL Raymer (collectively “Defendants”) are all related to each other.

Raymer says she has no idea who these people and companies are.

It gets more interesting. The original suit states:

Primp’s Primp trademark was distinctive at the time the infringing domain names itsprimp.com and primp.com were registered, and was, and is protected by the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125.

But Raymer says she was the original 1998 registrant of Primp.com, which is five years before the “first use in commerce” of the Primp trademark in 2003. In the Memorandum of Points and Authorities, it states that Raymer registered Primp.com “to facilitate the counterfeiting of the Primp clothing”, which is also curious if she registered the domain many years before Primp was around.

The plaintiffs have since filed an amended complaint. It appears to keep Raymer in the defendant list, not mention her location and charge upfront, but mention her again in the ACPA claim.

A case of mistakenly being added to a counterfeiting ring?

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  1. 5 1/2in. Dia, 18 Tooth Circular Saw Blade says

    It would appear that Industry Concept Holdings Inc. and Primp Inc , and their lawyers, are nothing more than cheap-shot domain thieves that are looking to steal the domain through Reverse Domain Name Hijacking (RDNH), in my opinion.

    What scummy companies and lawyers IMO.

    Sickening!!

  2. stardom says

    it’s a generic word ffs
    primp: ‘To dress or groom (oneself) with meticulous or excessive attention to detail’

    a decent lawyer can defend this.
    then make a defamation claim afterwards

  3. Larry says

    “A case of mistakenly being added to a counterfeiting ring? ”

    It’s not uncommon for a lawsuit to be filed naming everyone and anyone that can be connected to a case. “Shoot first ask questions later”.

    Business is about risk and if you’re in business sucky things are going to happen. This is part of being in business. Part of it is navigating the risk and coming out on top. And making extra money to cover for the things that are going to happen.

  4. WebContents, Inc says

    Interesting read. According to documents…

    Primp Inc in Beverly Hills, CA is a private company categorized under Women’s and Misses’ Outerwear, Nec. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $140,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1. Companies like Primp Inc usually offer: Cato Women’s Clothing, Travel Clothing Women, Womens Outdoor Clothing, Womens Outerwear and Women’s Motorcycle Clothing.

    Blowing smoke perhaps?

  5. Bob Mountain says

    @WebContents – In my experience data on privately held companies is pretty unreliable, they could be much bigger than this and you’d never know. That said I’d agree with your main point on the smoke.

  6. jp says

    There should really be some sort of inexoensive Business Insurance that deals Wth stuff like this.

  7. RankFuel says

    An obvious case of trying to steal the domain. There’s no need for insurance, jp, when precedence and regulation specifically ensure the original owner can keep a domain after a trademark has been registered. In this case, the trademark was registered and approved 3 years after the brand was formed. She is being bullied, and as of today still holds the domain. Unfortunately, there are legal fees she will undoubtedly have to pay to defend what has already been established. Is there any records of an offer being made to her for the domain before the suit was filed?

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