FCSESA v OUSC: Case Settled BUT, OUSC Parents Left in the Dark. Club missing money?BOTN did reach out via email to Mike O'Malley, OUSC President, to give him an opportunity to have his comments posted, however Mr. O'Malley elected not reply
Did FC SESA & Oceanside United SC Settlement Needlessly Cost OUSC Parents Thousands and Thousands of Dollars?
Looking back to 12/3/19, BOTN posted that FC SESA had commenced legal action against the Oceanside United Soccer Club (OUSC) by issuing a Cease and Desist letter alleging that the OUSC had committed trademark infringement, and tortious interference by inferring that OUSC and FC SESA were somehow connected. (see https://www.backofthenet.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/734302/1
In the original post of the alleged trademark infringement the details were not disclosed. The reason for withholding the details at that time was to halt further damage to the FC SESA brand. Now, the details can be made known.
What the OUSC club did and were guilty of was "Cybersquatting". Cybersquatting is when someone registers a domain name to a business or person, especially a well-known company or brand name(s), as Internet domains, in the hope of reselling them at a profit, or to confuse the end user.
OUSC initially did this to FC SESA because they were intimidated by the Oceanside based FC SESA club, and by cybersquatting www.fcsesa.com
which redirected everyone to the OUSC website.Exactly what is cybersquatting?
Cybersquatting, according to the United States federal law known as the "Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act", is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else. Cybersquatters neglect the existence of a trademark to profit from others.
To win an online copyright or trademark lawsuit, plaintiffs typically must prove, at the very least, that the defendants: (i) were using their marks – or ones confusingly similar; (ii) profited from the use of the contested marks; and, (iii) acted in bad faith.
What must be proven to make cybersquatting punishable? To prove cybersquatting: (i) The registrant had bad-faith intent to profit from your mark, (ii) the mark was distinctive at the time of the domain registry; (iii) the domain name is identical or confusing to your mark; (iv) and the mark qualifies for federal trademark protection.
Cybersquatters often intend to profit from someone else's registered trademark by purchasing a domain name before the trademark owner can do so.
Prior to the Cease and Desist letter sent to OUSC on or about December 3, 2019, if anyone went to www.fcsesa.com
they were immediately redirected to the OUSC website. After the letter was received by OUSC what they did instead of acting contrite, and seeking to mitigate the issue, was to behave mean-spirited, which turned out to be very costly to the club, the club's parents, and out-right stupid.
Instead of simply transferring the domain to its rightful owner, FC SESA, at zero cost, let me repeat, ZERO COST, it seems like Mike O'Malley & the OUSC Board dumped the domain into a domain graveyard
, or domain reseller, and gave up control and ownership to another third party, a third party that resells domains at huge profits. Mike O'Malley and the OUSC Board mistakenly thought their action would fix the issue by not giving the name back to FC SESA, while divesting the OUSC club of owning the domain, and closing out the complaint.
It appears like OUSC was wrong. Mike O’Malley, and I believe the OUSC Board, felt that while knowing they should not have had the domain, neither did they want FC SESA to own and use the domain, and dumping the domain would end the the issue. Wrong-O!! Unfortunately for OUSC their continued arrogance did not end there.
When FC SESA found out what had happened they advised OUSC that dumping the domain name simply exacerbated the problem, and explained why, and also suggested it was OUSC's problem to buy back the domain from the reseller, and transfer the ownership back to FC SESA.
BOTN believes that OUSC knowing they were guilty and that they could not win in court decided it was best for the club to cut its loses, and buy back the domain so they could do what they simply should have done in the first place when the Cease and Desist letter was sent, and that was to transfer the www.fcsesa.com
domain name to FC SESA. So, here is the part that OUSC parents should read — instead of it costing OUSC nothing, the buy back cost for OUSC according to our information was between $16,000 & $18,500, and all the money paid by the club is money the parents paid for soccer services for their kids. OUSC parents should be very pissed at this total waste of their money, and should demand accountability of the Board's actions and to demand to have their money returned to the club’s bank account.
In the opinion of BOTN, it is surprising to BOTN that Mr. O’Malley and other board members, some of who are attorneys, that they allowed the club to engage in what appears to be cybersquatting and have it needlessly cost the club’s parents thousands and thousands of dollars.