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Microsoft Sues Maker of Four-Minute Exercise Machine for Typosquatting

Routine lawsuit. Interesting back story, courtesy of SeattlePI.com.

On March 11, Microsoft Corp. filed a typosquatting complaint in the Western District against Alf Temme, Lars Temme, and their unincorporated company known as “Romfab” and “Rom Fab.”

Microsoft says the father-and-son team registered 25 domain names that are confusingly similar to Microsoft’s HOTMAIL brand. Think ho0tmail.com, hotma9l.com and hlotmail.com

The plan? To get additional eyeballs on a Web site advertising their $14,615 exercise machines.

Yes, they’re apparently behind the odd-looking ROM “Time Machine” exerciser advertised in magazines that claims to provide a full workout in “exactly 4 minutes per day.”

The P-I talked with the senior Temme, who explained his strategy in registering the domain names. (He also denies his son is involved.)

“Every form of advertising is a form of annoyance,” he said. “The bottom line is, though, for every kinda 10,000 views, one person might buy something.”

He defended his strategy as fair competition.

“It’s just like if you were to buy some property next to Disneyland. Put a hotel on it, you should not be able to get sued for ‘property squatting,’” he said. “It basically means that one is taking advantage of a situation where people who, prior to getting to the Disneyland Hotel, bump into this hotel that is offering a competing rate.”

Mr. Temme reportedly told the P-I he is willing to give up the domain names. He has not yet answered Microsoft’s complaint.

The case cite is Microsoft Corp. v. Temme, No. 10-408 (W.D. Wash.).

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Reader Comments (1)

Everything about that device is so weird. Their airline magazine ads are practically juvenile... My gym does happen to have one, though. It's ok, I suppose, but probably not nearly as wonderful as they would have people believe.
March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

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