Feeds

eToys softens under grassroots pressure

Will drop cybersquatting suit if etoy drops theirs

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Online toy mega-merchant eToys conceded that popular support for the Swiss art group etoy encouraged it to offer a settlement to an old domain-name contest. The company offered to withdraw its suit if etoy withdraws its counter suit. eToys reportedly offered the Swiss artistes as much as US $1 million for the right to their domain name, etoy.com, but was spurned.

The dispute reached an impasse, and eToys filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against etoy in September. In November, eToys won an injunction against the art group, forcing it to shut down its site. For its part, etoy say it has been around longer, and that this is a case of reverse hijacking.

But now things appear to be moving towards co-existence, with one remaining sticky bit: the company has requested that etoy remove the more vulgar examples of its fine-arts offerings to a different site if it should keep the disputed domain name, so as to preserve the virtue of innocent women and children who might otherwise stumble upon an obscenity in their quest of such wholesome toys as the "Psycho Mantis" action figure, of which the company says: "This horrific former KGB agent has a face that only a mother could love. However, she died during childbirth so that would explain why Psycho Mantis is devoid of any emotion. His accessories include an NBC (Nuclear/Biological/Chemical) gas mask used to hide his grotesque visage and to focus his deadly psycho-kinetic powers."

Or the "Quake Series Iron Maiden," advertised thus: "This may not be the kind of girl you take home to meet the parents, but hey, she does have the distinction of being a Strogg alien bent on destroying the human race. Her interchangeable limbs include a machine gun arm to rip holes in marine's armour and a cybernetic blade arm to shred what remains."

Both toys are recommended for children aged nine and over. Support for the artsy group has increased as a result of the suit, and probably comes from people more concerned with checking the power of commercial entities on the Web than with the artistic message of this particular underdog. But regardless of its motives, etoy has mounted an effective shame-campaign to which the upstart retailer has responded. It all makes for a most intriguing precedent, one which, we are sure, will be watched with great interest by a number of companies whose names might be in dispute. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.