Las Vegas Switch Data Center Files Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

By Joseph Mandour on November 14, 2011

Los Angeles – Switch Communications Group, LLC, the operator of a large data center in Las Vegas, has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Canadian man over his registration of the switch.net Internet domain name last month.

The complaint, filed on Wednesday in a Las Vegas federal court, alleges that Dorian Banks of Vancouver, British Columbia, not only violated its trademark but also violated the federal Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. According to the Switch complaint, Banks had a “bad faith intent to profit from registering, trafficking in or using a domain name or trademark that is either identical or confusingly similar to a distinctive trademark or a famous trademark.”

Switch Communications Group said in the lawsuit that it operates the “world’s most powerful data center and technology ecosystems” and has a website at switchnap.com. The company, which started eleven years ago in Las Vegas, now holds digital data for a number of Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. government in its large facilities.

In the lawsuit, Switch is charging that after Banks registered the switch.net domain name on October 15, he contacted the company and offered to sell it to them for about $3,700.

“While plaintiff evaluated the offer to negotiate the purchase of the domain name, defendant threatened to sell the domain name to another entity if plaintiff did not hurry and open escrow to buy the domain name,” stated trademark attorneys for Switch Communications.

Banks, the CEO of Metrobridge Networks International, Inc., a wireless Internet provider, denied the allegations. Banks claims that he had never heard of Switch Communications when he purchased the switch.net domain name at an auction. He also stated that the domain name was locked down after the auction because of a protest by another company in Switzerland called SWITCH, which offers Internet services in Switzerland. According to Banks, after the Swiss company rejected his registration of switch.net, he offered to sell it to the Las Vegas company for what he paid for it.

Switch Communications is requesting that the judge grant a restraining order requiring Banks to stop using Switch Communications’ names and trademarks and that the domain name registrar transfer over the domain name to Switch Communications.

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