Kogan Registers Catchmobile.com.au and Links to Kogan Mobile, Catch Sues

Thought this was highly amusing.

Kogan registered Catchmobile.com.au (now taken offline) with links to Kogan Mobile. They've also registered catchinsurance.com.au and catchloans.com.au to redirect to Kogan products.

Also from CRN:

“A search of Google for ‘catch connect’, ‘catch mobile’ or ‘catch mobile plans’ resulted in the identification of a sponsored link to [Kogan’s catchmobile.com.au domain], which was sponsored by [Kogan],” the statement of claim read.

Catch alleged that Kogan has been the owner of the catchmobile.com.au domain since “at least January 2018” and sold mobile phone-related products or services on the domain since May.

It also alleged that Kogan registered the domain names of catchinsurance.com.au and catchloans.com.au in March, claiming that the company was passing off its products to be related to Catch Group.

Catch alleged that Kogan contravened the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) for misrepresenting that the products from Kogan are also products and services of Catch, or vice-versa, or that the two companies are related in some way.

“The Google sponsored links representations are false, because none of the Kogan Catch mobile products or services or catchmobile.com.au is provided by, or with the licence or authority of, Catch Group, affiliated with Catch Group, or sponsored or approved by Catch Group,” the statement of claim read.)

What is ironic about this is that Catch did the same thing several years ago registering dealextreme.com.au, woot.com.au and groupon.com.au (before they launched in Australia). When Groupon initially launched in Australia they had to call their site Stardeals due to not having the domain and even Catch registering the Groupon trademark. OzBargain Discussion from 2011 and Groupon's Blog Post at the time.

One particular clone in Australia called Scoopon, created by the brothers Gabby and Hezi Leibovitch, has been making life difficult for us. Scoopon went a little further than just starting their Groupon clone – they actually purchased the Groupon.com.au domain name, took the company name Groupon Pty Limited, and tried to register the Groupon trademark (filing for the trademark just seven days before us) in Australia.

The way we see things, this is a classic case of domain squatting – an unfortunate reality of the Internet business. As Groupon became internationally known, opportunistic domain squatters around the world started to buy local Groupon domain names, thinking that we’d eventually be forced to buy them at an insane price. In fact, we tried to do just that, reluctantly offering Gabby and Hezi Leibovich about $286,000 for the Groupon.com.au domain and trademark—an offer they accepted. But now they’ve changed their minds, and we believe that they’ll only sell us the domain and trademark if we’re willing to buy the entire Scoopon business from them. Left with no other options, we’ve filed a lawsuit against Scoopon, claiming that their Groupon trademark was filed in bad faith (amongst other things).

Eventually it went to court with Groupon winning.

Well like they say those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Related Stores

catchmobile.com.au
catchmobile.com.au

Comments

  •  

    I thought that to register a .com.au you required evidence of a similar named Australian registered business

    • Have to be one of the following:

      • An Australian registered company
      • Trading under a registered business name in any * Australian State or Territory
      • An Australian partnership or sole trader
      • A foreign company licensed to trade in Australia
      • Be an owner of an Australian Registered Trade Mark
      • An applicant for an Australian Registered Trade Mark
      • An association incorporated in any Australian State or Territory
      • An Australian commercial statutory body

      Unless I'm mistaken, it doesn't seem that the business name or anything else needs to be related to the domain name being registered, which is more than a little strange.

      •  

        pretty sure it was a lot stricter back in the day, that the domain had to be your business name or a derivative in order to be registered. This is going back 20 years tho

        • It was still like that a few yeas ago. You needed to send in your registration certificate before the domain could be approved.

          As OP mentioned Scoopon registered Groupon as a business name so they'd be allowed to grab the domain as well.

  • Eventually it went to court with Groupon winning.

    Lol how to wave goodbye to an easy $286k

  • Thanks for sharing!

    Funny how it's fine for them to do it to other companies but if another company does it to them they complain.

  • We will all end up like Redact Robinson if we're not careful….

  • dealextreme.com.au

    I thought that was pretty dog of CotD to do that. But I also knew DX wouldn't come after them, because it's outside of their jurisdiction.