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The Poetry Foundation, which has owned the trademark to the word “poetry” for almost a century, is suing an Iowa City, Iowa, business for allegedly squatting on its cyberturf at poetry.org. The Chicago-based group is asking a judge to kick the Jeo.Net company off the Web site for violating the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. The foundation has owned the trademark to the word “poetry” since 1912 and can file such a suit depending on the context in which the word is used, said Matthew Pappas, an attorney for the not-for-profit group. According to the suit, poetry.org initially belonged to the Electronic Poetry Review, an online magazine started in 1995 by two University of Iowa graduate students. They hired Jeo.Net to provide Web hosting services when their publication went online in 1996 and later learned that Jeo.Net had the poetry.org name registered to two of its Web hosters — Afan Ottenheimer of Iowa City and Davi Ottenheimer of Santa Cruz, Calif. Both are named in the lawsuit. The online magazine changed its Web site address and later assigned all its rights and interests to the domain name poetry.org to The Poetry Foundation. The foundation then contacted the defendants to discuss the rights to the Web domain. According to the suit, the Ottenheimers changed the content of poetry.org during talks with the foundation and put up information about restaurants and other services in Iowa City. The foundation claims the men later changed the site’s content to include poetry-related information and links to create “a legitimate interest” in the domain name. They also added the World Wide Web abbreviation to poetry.org to establish ownership. But, the suit alleges, the Web hosts showed their lack of interest in poetry by misspelling the name of famous 19th-century poet Emily Dickinson on the site. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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