Consulting firm sues man for copyright and trademark infringement of Bain name.
Bain & Company, one of the world’s most prestigious management consulting firms and a former employer of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is taking a Colorado man to court over his use of the “Bain Consulting” name and the domain name BainConsultingGroup.com.
According to Bain (pdf), it became aware of Jim Woods’ registration of BainConsultingGroup.com in February. The domain was registered on January 2, 2012 according to whois records.
Bain says that Woods set up the site to trade on Bain & Company’s goodwill. It also alleges that he essentially copied and paraphrased content from Bain’s official web site. Bain also says that Woods lifted text off of other global consulting company web sites.
The consulting company sent Woods a cease & desist letter on March 1. On March 5, he allegedly responded:
Let’s see how the continuing negative publicity effects [sic] your business. We quite frankly would relish the publicity.
If however you wish to buy our rights to the name you may do so for $20,000. Otherwise go to hell.
Bain says that, just four minutes later, Woods emailed its in-house attorney and said that if he didn’t receive an apology he would initiate a “social media onslaught” against Bain.
Fast forward to March 27, and Bain sent a third cease & desist letter to Woods. Woods responded with two emails. According to the suit, Woods closed the first email with “Uou [sic] can kiss my black asd [sic].”
His second email said that any future correspondence from Bain will “be sent in the form of a blog to the universe”.
Woods’ web site at BainConsultingGroup.com currently shows a GoDaddy unavailable site page. Bain had complained to the registrar about the domain. For some reason the domain name no longer shows any whois record, although the domain is still registered at GoDaddy.
But Woods isn’t done, yet. On April 2 Woods allegedly contacted Bain’s outside counsel and told them he is “reopen[ing] the Bain Consulting Group” as part of a “guerrilla war” he was launching against Bain. According to Bain, Woods alluded to his earlier demand that Bain pay him money for the domain name.
Bain is suing Woods for federal trademark violation, unfair competition and false designation of origin, federal dilution, copyright violation, and violating the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.