Jay Freeman, better known as Saurik, has filled a lawsuit in the hopes of obtaining rights to the Cydia.com domain name. Saurik owns Saurikit LLC, and he is filing his suit based on trademark infringement.
The owners of Cydia.com have refused to give Saurik rights to the domain in the past, and he proposes a viable complaint that users will be confused by the domain if it does not point to the infamous jailbreak store he created known as Cydia.
“Earlier this year it filed a UDRP to get Cydia.com. The UDRP panel ruled against Saurikit, noting that the domain name was registered six years before Saurikit started using the name Cydia.
The company’s in rem lawsuit against the Cydia.com domain name alleges that the owner of the domain name changed the content of the page from a parked page to one about Apple products after it contacted him.”
Jay Freeman’s LLC is requesting that the domain be transferred from the current registrar into Saurikit’s possession, and he is also requesting damages for legal fees.
A PDF of Saurikit’s lawsuit is available here.
UPDATE: Saurik himself has commented on this article and shared some insight into this situation with the Cydia.com domain. Here’s his full response:
“The key thing to realize here is that cydia.com, which was originally a website with random ads on it (totally unrelated, obviously, to the iPhone or Cydia), has, over the years, attempted to take advantage of the work that I’ve put into this name, without any quotes for how I might be able to get the domain from them.
Further, when I first reached out to them regarding the domain name, they not only refused to simply sell it to me, but immediately decided to put iPhone-related advertisements on it, which caused a large number of users to believe that cydia.com was, in fact, Cydia: the ads even mentioned things like “get apps here”.
This, of course, violated the registered trademark that I have on “Cydia”: they cannot construct something that attempts to confuse people in this fashion for their monetary gain. Now, what I should have done at this point is, apparently, failed a UDRP: supposedly I would have easily won.
However, as I did not have domain name lawyers at the time, my personal lawyer simply said I should file a cease and desist. This resulted in the owners of cydia.com deciding to randomly turn their website into a non-profit forum. They put out a call for moderators, and nowhere on the site was it clear that they were not Cydia.
In fact, they even sent so far as to backdate the post they made to claim the forum had been in existence since 2009, even though it was posted in 2010. (This made no sense, however, given that my trademark was registered in 2008, so I’m not certain why they felt the need to lie about this.)
This forum was actually (unfortunately) quite popular, and (of course) all of the posts made on it were about Cydia: users asking for help, from the people they considered to be the official source. I even received e-mail from angry users claiming they had gotten no, useless, or even incorrect advice when they used cydia.com, as everyone, of course, assumes that I own the domain name: it is just too similar in content.
So, more complaints from me to them (with no response), and the result ended up being this notice at the bottom of the page… the very bottom of the page, where no one even looks (and therefore is not legally useful for them)… that claims that they aren’t actually affiliated with Cydia.
At some point, and I do not know of any triggering event for it, they decided to change the website to something that claims they’ve been “hacked” and hit with “spam”. This has been even worse for Cydia: potential users see this and assume Cydia is some horribly insecure platform.
None of this, however, helped the actual confusion problem: I seriously got a message from a reporter a few weeks ago asking about my plans for cydia.com, which they assumed that I owned. Seriously: they assumed I own cydia.com, and simply was unable to deal with the hacking and spam, and was rethinking it. *sigh*
Regardless, further attempts to reach out to them have failed, which has led to this lawsuit. I think this is the correct thing for everyone involved, and I’m still perfectly happy to come to some reasonable settlement with the owners of the domain name. The hope is that this lawsuit paves the way to actually getting people to sit down and talk at all.
So, if you want, you all can sit around and tell me I’m being unreasonable here, but you are simply wrong. These people own many thousands of thousands of domain names (this is not an exaggeration), many of which are one-off typos of existing brands (like wokia.com), and seem to be in the business of laying seeming-harmless land mines that they can use to later twist the knife on otherwise innocent people.
I, certainly, have no issue with taking them to court over this, and my only regret is that the end result of my winning will almost certainly not manage to make any change in their overall harmful business operation. “