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.
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