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WTF: Heidi Powell files cybersquatting lawsuit against Heidi Powell over HeidiPowell.com

Pity the poor woman who had the gall to register her own name as a .com domain name.

I’ve seen a lot of ridiculous cybersquatting complaints filed through UDRP or the courts, but this one might top them all.

You might have heard for Heidi Powell if you’re into weight loss reality TV. She’s co-host of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss. She came to fame in 2010.

When it came time to register a domain name, she found that HeidiPowell.com had already been registered by another woman named Heidi Powell (actually, her husband registered it for her). So she went with HeidiPowell.net, but also inquired about buying the .com. She was rebuffed.

Now Heidi Powell, the weight loss guru, is suing Heidi Powell, the innocent registrant of her own name in .com, claiming that she’s cybersquatting by owning the .com that matches her own name.

I feel like I’m in the twilight zone here.

I sure hope the fitness Heidi Powell’s lawyers Jaburg & Wilk fully advised her about the risk she’s getting into by filing this suit (pdf). If I were the defendant, I’d certainly countersue for reverse domain name hijacking and ask for $100,000. This case is as dead on arrival as any I’ve seen.

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  1. David says

    Contrarily, I think the plaintiff has a valid legal case and may prevail in view of the apparent fact the domain was registered by and owned by Kent Powell the husband and not by Heidi. That means in effect defendant can not truly say she has rights to the domain based on her name as it does not appear she owned it.

    • Andrew Allemann says

      I think any court would see that it was registered in good faith by the husband for his wife.

      And that argument isn’t really made in the case. They just argue it has been purchased to sell for a lot of money or to benefit from the fitness guru’s name. Given that the owner refused to sell, and it clearly wasn’t purchased in bad faith, that argument doesn’t hold water.

  2. David says

    Good points you are making however I still believe plaintiff would likely win if they change their case to say Heidi did not legally register and own the domain so how can she claim legal rights to it even though it was registered for her benefit.

    • Jane Doe says

      If you buy something for someone and gift it to them, do they own it?

      The answer is yes.

      The fact that the domain is an exact match for her name more than covers any claim for fair use.

      Now…

      As the owner is a web designer/marketing consultant, known by her name…

  3. Joseph Peterson says

    Does her sense of entitlement know no bounds? I she more “important” than the other person sharing her name? Or is she simply so unscrupulous that she’d trample someone else and pervert the UDRP process to get what she wants?

    If the mainstream media or a tabloid gets ahold of this story, her reputation is toast. I’d be happy to go out of my way to see to it she becomes the toast of the town.

  4. Nick says

    The husband and wife owners of the domain would definitely win a countersuit. This is no doubt attempted theft. Hopefully they go after the ego-maniac thinking she is the only important heidi powell.

  5. John says

    This is really all ego. “I’m the only person who should be able to use my name. Everyone else should change their name.” 100% agree with the sense of entitlement comment

  6. Ray says

    It’s a sad day when you can’t even own your own name as domain name without getting sued by a Narcissist who can’t even fathom someone else having the same name. IT’S HER NAME. This is the most ridiculous cyber-squatting lawsuit ever. If anything the plaintiff is cybersquatting, since the defendant was named Heidi Powell first and using it first. I hope she gets what’s coming to her in a counter-suit.

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