LOS ANGELES - Santa Monica based board games company Morning Star Games got a rude awakening late last week when it discovered that the Internet address to its whimsical, child-friendly Web site had been taken over by – what else? – a hardcore pornography site.
“There’s no question that [Padonack] has registered the [domain] for commercial gain by creating a likelihood of confusion with Morning Star’s trademark,” said Michael Amir, Wolf’s attorney and a partner in the Century City-based Doll Amir & Eley.
Amir asserts Register.com also has failed to aggressively investigate the matter.
Officials with Register.com did not return repeated phone calls Wednesday requesting comment.
Morning Star Games, which is behind such award-winning titles as “Jabber Jot” and “You’re Pulling My Leg!” does a quarter of its nearly $1 million-a-year business over the internet. In an effort to salvage sales during the remainder of the holiday shopping season, the company has secured morningstargames.net for its online customers.
The drama began last week, when Wolf noticed his Web site and company e-mail had mysteriously gone offline.
Then things got worse.
Customers visiting the site looking to buy “Slap Wacky” or “Pet Detectives” were redirected to either an array of particularly graphic images or a list of dirty words resembling an explosion of Tourette’s syndrome.”
“With the launch of “You’re Pulling My Leg!,” Wolf grew his board game company into an international business, with customers in the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain.
‘It feels like the Grinch has come in and tried to steal our Christmas from us,’ Wolf said. ‘But I believe that the law is on our side, and that, in the end, we’ll prevail.’”