September 22, 2011
Oxymagic carpet cleaning franchise company, it seems, is earning a reputation as a corporate bully. Now they’re getting sued for it.
(UnhappyFranchisee.com) Oxymagic franchise owners might be fine people who take great pride in serving their customers. Unfortunately, it seems like the OxyMagic carpet cleaning brand that they rely on is becoming more and more associated with the bullying tactics and vendettas of the OxyMagic franchisor.
As we reported in an earlier post (Has OXYMAGIC CEO David Iseley Gone Off the Deep End?), OxyMagic founder & CEO David Iseley maintains a website dedicated to smearing a young, ex-employee he accuses of becoming a competitor. David Iseley has started a YouTube channel dedicated solely to videos in which he personally attacks the ex-employee (whose carpet cleaning franchise is thriving and has outpaced OxyMagic in both awards and unit growth).
Now another company is claiming to be a victim of threats and intimidation by Iseley’s OxyMagic… and they’ve filed a lawsuit to put an end to it.
Virtual Point, Inc. Plaintiff, v. Oxymagic Franchise Development, Defendant
On September 14, 2011, Virtual Point Inc., a California Corporation dba Crosspath filed a complaint in United States District Court, Central District of California, against Oxymagic Franchise Development, an Oklahoma corporation. The complaint seeks declaratory judgements that establish that (despite what Oxymagic Franchise Development accuses) they did not infringe on Oxymagic Franchise Development’s trademark, they did not engage in unfair Competition, they did not violate the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, and that they are the rightful owner of the Oxymagic.com domain name.
In addition, the complaint alleges that Oxymagic Franchise Development is guilty of Common Law Unfair Competition and has violated Unfair Competition of California Code section 17200.
Virtual Point Inc. is seeking monetary damages, attorney’s fees & expenses.
Read the full complaint: Virtual Point, Inc. v. Oxymagic Franchise Development (PDF)
Here’s the gist: it seems that, after eight years, the domain name Oxymagic.com recently became available for registration. Oxymagic missed its chance to register it, and Virtual Point, Inc. registered the domain name for its own use. According to the Virtual Point, Inc. suit, Oxymagic then launched a campaign of threats and intimidation to try to coerce Virtual Point into giving them the domain.
According to the complaint, a representative for Oxymagic Franchise Development “sent three separate communications, each accusing the Plaintiff of infringing on the Defendant’s trademark rights. Within these emails the defendant also demanded transfer of the Domain Names and sought Plaintiff’s legal address for legal service of process.”
“…Defendant’s actions and communications show a clear intent to use any means necessary to obtain the Domain Names…”
“Defendant’s accusations of trademark infringement are objectively specious and baseless, and have been made in a bad faith effort to obtain ownership of the Domain Name.”
“At best, Defendant’s trademark rights are weak and narrowly limited…”
Oxymagic was granted a federal registration by the US Patent & Trademark Office last year for the service mark “Oxymagic” in the area of carpet cleaning. Virtual Point Inc. maintains that it is not using the name to promote carpet cleaning, so the trademark claim is irrelevant. Further, the suit points out that there are hundreds or thousands of legitimate websites using “oxy” and “magic” in trademarks, domain names and websites owned by third parties promoting such things as wood floor refinishing, a stain removal pen, a face cream, several different cleaning services and a model of refrigerator.
So while the franchise company might be under the impression it owns the word Oxymagic, “At best, Defendant’s trademark rights are weak and narrowly limited to the field of carpet cleaning” according to the complaint.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH OXYMAGIC FRANCHISE DEVELOPMENT, DAVID ISELEY OR VIRTUAL POINT, INC.? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Contact the post author or site admin at unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com.
July 25, 2011
David Iseley founded the Oxymagic carpet cleaning franchise in 1999.
In 2005, he hired a kid fresh out of college as his V.P. of Franchise Development. Less than a year later, according to Iseley, the kid went off and started his own competing carpet cleaning franchise company. Iseley sued him and they settled out of court.
Despite having agreed on a settlement, David Iseley could not let the incident go. His anger and resentment toward the young upstart seemed to grow to the point of obsession.
David Iseley created entire blogs about how he had been wronged by the young entrepreneur.
He posted vicious, disparaging comments about his young competitor across the Internet, calling him a cheat, a liar and a thief.
Recently, David Iseley began creating and posting angry YouTube videos of himself ranting and raving about the wrongs he suffered, and the unfairness of the U.S. criminal justice system.
On his YouTube videos, Oxymagic CEO David Iseley plays media interviews of his young competitor while he makes derisive and derogatory comments.
David Iseley holds up snapshots of his daughters [See screenshot] who have supposedly suffered because of his 10-month employee’s misdeeds 5 years ago.
During the past 5 years, the college kid focused on growing his franchise company and supporting his franchisees. His chain has grown to nearly 300 franchises.
In the same timeframe, David Iseley has focused on playing the victim. Despite a 7-year head-start and almost two decades more experience, David Iseley’s Oxymagic still remains at about 80 franchises… about 1/3 the size of his alleged “copycat franchise” competitor.
David Iseley’s attempted smear campaign is doing more damage to his brand than any competitor could ever do.
David Iseley accuses the college kid of using infomercials, while his own website links to a paid-for “Designing Spaces” segment that is not labeled as an advertisement.
David Iseley claims the college kid stole his secrets, but doesn’t explain how the kid achieved 300% more growth with the same supposed concept.
David Iseley rails against the court system and the FBI for letting him “get screwed” because he’s “not Coca Cola.”
David Iseley obviously spends an inordinate amount of time on the Internet attacking a long-ago employee instead of finding a publisher for his book manuscript (he displays its supposed cover art) or updating his website (its most current training schedule is from 2008).
David Iseley claims the college kid is a phony, but is shown on video absolutely livid one moment then laughing the next (when he thought the camera was off).
David Iseley claims the college kid is deceptive, while it seems obvious that Iseley himself posts comments under multiple pseudonyms and personas. On the attack blogs, David Iseley even writes in the first person, as himself, then includes a disclaimer stating “This blog is not affiliated with David Iseley, Oxymagic, or Oxymagic Franchise Development Corp.”
Say what? His own blogs, which contain personal notes to his competitor, are not affiliated with him?
Should Oxymagic Franchisees Hold an Intervention?
At the very least, he should ask his franchisees whether THEY think he should continue using valuable time and resources on his unprofessional, personal online vendetta.
Odds are, if they are candid with him, they’ll say: Stop embarrassing us, David. Stop embarrassing yourself. Get refocused on helping us win and keep carpet cleaning customers.
Sometimes franchisors have to save franchisees from their own bad habits.
Sometimes the franchisees need to save the franchisor from himself.
For all their sakes.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE OXYMAGIC FRANCHISE & DAVID ISELEY? WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
[Note: Neither Oxymagic nor the unnamed competitor sponsored or had input or influence on the content of this blog post. The opinions expressed are that of the post author alone and are just that – personal opinions.] Contact the editor at unhappyfranchisee[at]gmail.com