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Chrysler Sues Internet Companies

September 29, 1998

DETROIT (AP) _ Chrysler Corp. has sued two New York Internet companies, accusing them of trademark infringement and unfair competition for sending would-be customers to a pornographic site.

The automaker filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court against The Net and Host Networks Inc., both of Hewlett, N.Y.

In September 1995, Chrysler registered www.4adodge.com as its Web site promoting its brand. In December 1995, The Net registered a Web site with a very similar address that links browsers with a Host Networks-run hard-core pornography site.

``A customer searching for information about a Dodge should not be faced with pornography,″ Chrysler attorney Ron Fuller III said in a statement. ``The Net is clearly using one of the most identifiable brand names in the automotive industry to make money dispensing pornography.″

The Net and Host Networks do not have listed telephone numbers and could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

In July, Chrysler approached The Net and Host Networks, asking them to shut down the site. The Net said it would remove the site if Chrysler paid a ``substantial″ sum, Fuller said.

``We do not have to buy what already is ours,″ he said.

In its suit, Chrysler asked for unspecified damages and a permanent injunction, saying the pornographic Web site causes ``irreparable injury to Chrysler Corp.’s trade, business reputation, prestige and goodwill.″

The legal action was not The Net’s first brush with irate companies.

In late August, CNN filed a federal lawsuit in Atlanta against The Net for operating www.CNN.net. The cable news company’s actual site is CNN.com. As of Tuesday, the site contains a list of domain names for sale.

Last year, NASA complained when The Net registered www.NASA.com that directed many people _ including school children seeking information about the Mars Pathfinder mission _ to a commercial site peddling access to pornographic pictures. That site subsequently was shut down.

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