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September 23, 2014

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Vegas company sued over Web site promoting escorts

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A Texas man is suing a Las Vegas company in a dispute involving a sexually oriented Web site promoting escorts and escort services all over the country.

Gregory Ricks filed the suit last week in U.S. District Court for Nevada against DCAEV Inc., which is headed by businessman Michael Palacios and has registered a trademark called "Date Check" in association with a Web site called "date-check.com".

The Web site promotes incall and outcall escorts in Las Vegas and around the country.

Ricks is known as a "domainer" who over the years has spent millions of dollars acquiring Internet domain names.

His lawsuit says that in 1999 he registered the Internet domain name "datecheck.com" and since 2001 has been using that domain name to promote the goods and services of other businesses.

This is accomplished by providing hypertext links to the Web sites of others. Ricks says his "datecheck.com" domain name has never been used to promote escort services or other adult businesses.

The lawsuit says Ricks received correspondence last week from an attorney for DCAEV Inc. alleging "datecheck.com" infringes on DCAEV's trademark rights and demanding Ricks stop using domain names infringing on the DCAEV trademarks.

Ricks responded with his lawsuit, asserting his "datecheck.com" domain name predates DCAEV's use of the "Date Check" trademark in connection with DCAEV's escort service Web site.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys Mark Borghese and Ryan Gile of the Las Vegas law firm Weide & Miller, charges DCAEV's escort service Web site promotes prostitution.

Ricks' suit said there is no likelihood of confusion between his domain name and the use of the "Date Check" trademark in connection with the Web site promoting escorts.

The suit also claims DCAEV obtained the "Date Check" trademark by making false or fraudulent representations to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office regarding DCAEV's assertion that no other firm has the right to use that mark in commerce.

Ricks also asserts that since about June 2008, the defendant decided it wanted to use the "datecheck.com" Web site in addition to the "date-check.com" site to promote its escort directory services and started working with unnamed third parties to hijack the "datecheck.com" name.

Also in June 2008, the defendant filed for the federal "Date Check" trademark for "promoting the goods and services of others by providing hypertext links to the Web sites of others; (and) providing a Web site featuring product ratings of the consumer services of others in the field of escorts," the suit says.

The suit seeks unspecified damages, cancellation of the defendant's trademark and a declaration that Ricks' use of the "datecheck.com" domain name does not infringe on any of DCAEV's trademarks.

DCAEV has not yet received the lawsuit and had no immediate comment on the allegations, an attorney for the company said Sunday.

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