Name Game Blame on Comedian’s Fame

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Comedian Jeff Dunham’s wife Audrey has sued his former wife, claiming she cybersquatted by registering several website domains using Audrey Dunham’s name.
     Defendant Paige Dunham was married to Dunham from 1994 to 2010 and gave birth to their two daughters, Ashlyn and McKenna, according to publicly available information.
     Audrey Dunham, a nutrition consultant and fitness trainer, married Dunham in 2012.
     After she and Dunham became engaged in December 2011, Audrey claims, Paige, without notice, registered several domain names that use Audrey’s name.
     The domain names are AudreyDunham.com, AudreyDunham.net, AudreyDunham.us and AudreyDunham.biz, according to the federal lawsuit.
     Audrey claims that Paige “concealed her name as the registrant” by using Perfect Privacy, which specializes in keeping private the names of domain registrants.
     Audrey says that on Jan. 31, 2012, she applied for trademark protection of Audrey Dunham for her personal fitness training and food nutrition consulting services. She says she received a notice of allowance for the mark in September 2012 and “invested significant funds and other resources” to develop “consumer awareness” of her Audrey Dunham mark.
     After learning about the domain names Paige registered, Audrey says, she asked Paige to transfer the infringing domain names to her and offered to pay for transfer expenses.
     She claims that Paige offered to sell the domain names to her for “tens of thousands of dollars” for each one.
     Audrey claims that Paige “knowingly and intentionally registered” the domain names with the intent to sell them for “financial and/or emotional gain.”
     She says that Paige has “no bona fide” or prior use of the Audrey Dunham domain names and “had no belief or reasonable grounds” to think registration of the domains “was fair use or otherwise lawful.”
     Paige knew the domain names are “confusingly similar” to the Audrey Dunham mark, Audrey says, and “intentionally registered, used and misappropriated ‘Audrey Dunham’ with oppression and malice.”
     She claims that Paige’s intent was to “harass and intimidate,” deprive Audrey of the opportunity to use the domains, and make money by selling them.
     Audrey Dunham’s Feb. 21 lawsuit accuses Paige of violating cyberpiracy laws, and unfair competition. She seeks an injunction, disgorgement of profits if any, statutory damages of $100,000 per domain name, punitive damages and costs.
     She is represented by Willmore F. Holbrow III, with Blakely, Sokoloff, Taylor and Zafman.

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