The Internet is a Series of Tubes, After All

Posted on November 1, 2006

Maybe Senator Ted Stevens was right. KLTV reports that Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation, the owners of have filed a lawsuit to make to make them stop using their name. KTV says YouTube's popularity has resulted in overwhelming traffic to the website.

The problem is with the two company's web sites. YouTube, Inc, runs the wildly popular video site called Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment Corp. has the web site to sell tube, pipe, and rollforming machinery. Internet users have been mixing up the two sites, so traffic on Universal Tube's web site went from 1,500 unique users per month to more than 2,000,000.

According to a news release from Universal Tube, the domain name was registered in 1996. The company also says utube has been used in advertising, trade show booths, and corporate identity. "The Utube trademark has been an integral part of the company's identity for more than a decade," said company attorney Tony DeGidio.

This increased traffic paralyzed Universal Tube's website until the firm increased bandwidth to accommodate the unwanted nuisance traffic. The company says its cost for hosting its website has increased by a factor of 100, or more. "We've had to move our site 5 times in an effort to stay ahead of the visitors," said Ralph Girkins, owner of Universal Tube, in a prepared statement.

KLTV says UTube wants YouTube to either stop using or pay Univeral Tube's costs for creating a new domain and new corporate identity. They would also want YouTube to help them pay for marketing this new identity. You can see Universal Tubes two uTube trademarks by searching the USPTO's website.

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