A dealer of used tube and pipe equipment filed a lawsuit this week hoping to strip YouTube of its domain name.
Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment, based in Perrysburg, Ohio, says that confusion between its Web site, utube.com, and youtube.com is damaging its reputation and costing the company thousands of dollars.
The firm filed its suit against YouTube Monday in the U.S. District Court for Northern Ohio.
Since Google announced in early October that it plans to purchase YouTube, visitors to utube.com have skyrocketed, from a few thousand per month to more than 70,000 per day, Universal Tube said in its suit.
That extra traffic has crashed Universal Tube’s servers several times, forcing the company to switch Internet service providers, at an additional monthly cost, in order to handle the increased traffic.
Universal Tube also said that it now receives rude e-mails from people confused about why they can’t find videos on utube.com, calls from journalists wanting to write about the confusion and even messages from law enforcement officials trying to track down the source of child porn posted on youtube.com.
“Plaintiff has lost its kingdom within its domain,” the suit wryly claims.
Universal Tube asks the court to stop YouTube from using the Youtube.com domain and turn it over to Universal Tube. The company also seeks damages to be determined by the court and other monetary payment, including three times YouTube’s profits from infringing sales.
Previous media reports have said that Universal Tube, while dismayed at being inundated by more visitors to its site than it could handle, was hoping to sell its utube.com domain at a significant profit based on its newfound popularity.