John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 20, 2012, 3:06pm

HOUSTON - Claiming Koba Internet Sales LLC is illegally using its domain names to market and sell inferior products, Marvel Manufacturing Co. Inc. pursues legal action.

A lawsuit filed Sept. 18 in the Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas asserts Koba intentionally and willfully infringed on Marvel's trademark rights, accusing the Houston-based company of cybersquatting.

According to court papers, Koba is unlawfully using the domain name to "offer inferior quality, non-Marvel replacement parts for Marvel sawing machines."

Marvel explains it first discovered the wrongdoing in question in 2007 and demanded Koba to cease and desist to no avail.

The plaintiff shows it found Koba to have registered eight of its domain names, and a lawsuit filed against the latter in federal court in Wisconsin ensued on Oct. 13, 2011.

The case was junked two months ago on grounds of "lack of personal jurisdiction over Koba."

Marvel further argues Koba tried to hide its wrongful conduct from future litigation by removing the websites and hiring co-respondent Domains by Proxy LLC to secretly hold the domain names and not disclose their identities in accordance to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers rules and regulations.

Such actions create confusion because of the similarly identical names and the complainant "has no control over the replacement parts advertised for sale as Marvel parts," the suit says.

It insists Koba "is neither a licensee of Marvel nor an authorized dealer or distributor of Marvel parts."

Since building an online presence dating back to 2009, the plaintiff "became more acutely aware of Koba’s infringing activities and the impact that these infringing activities have on Marvel’s mark and business," the suit says.

Marvel maintains it acted "diligently" to protect its mark since uncovering Koba's alleged activities and their increasing impact.

"Marvel has been and continues to be damaged by Koba’s actions," the suit says.
Consequently, the plaintiff seeks a minimum of $100,000 in damages and a jury trial.

Attorney Stephen F. Schlather with Collins, Edmonds, Pogorzelski, Schlather & Tower PLLC in Houston is representing Marvel.

Case No. 4:12-cv-2802

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