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November 23, 2014

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UFC sues Web sites promoting broadcasts of fights

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The Las Vegas-based Ultimate Fighting Championship is suing two Internet Web sites the UFC says are promoting unauthorized broadcasts of UFC fights.

Las Vegas-based Zuffa LLC, owner of the UFC, filed suit in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas on Friday against the Web sites www.watchufc111.com and www.watchufc111free.com

Attorneys for Zuffa, Michael Feder and John Krieger of the Las Vegas office of the law firm Lewis and Roca LLP, charge in the complaint that an individual in Framlingham, Suffolk, United Kingdom, registered the watchufc111 name and an individual in Jacksonville, Fla., registered the watchufc111free name.

The suit alleges UFC's next mixed martial arts event, UFC 111, is set for March 27 and that the Web sites at issue have been linking to sites promoting free access to UFC 111, which is scheduled to be a pay-per-view event.

The lawsuit claims the Web site names were registered with the bad faith intent to profit from UFC's trademarks and claims the registrants of the names have been cybersquatting, or trafficking in Web site names confusingly similar to those of the UFC.

The UFC seeks a court order requiring the Web site domain name registrars to transfer the registrations to the UFC.

The Web site domain name owners couldn't be located for comment on Monday.

On Feb. 18, the UFC filed a similar lawsuit against Moazzam Gandu, whom Zuffa said lives in Stafford, Va., and was running the Web site www.rage-streams.net.

Zuffa complained that rage-streams was offering unauthorized live streaming video of UFC 110 for $6.99, even though the lowest authorized price for the broadcast of the event was $44.95, and was selling video of at least 40 past UFC events.

Gandu has not yet filed court papers responding to those allegations, and a federal judge in Las Vegas on Friday issued a preliminary injunction barring Gandu from selling or distributing unauthorized UFC broadcasts.

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