A sports collectible company called Memory Lane Inc. of Tustin, Calif., has filed suit against Seattle-based Classmates.com and its parent company, United Online Inc., over the rebranding of the Classmates site as Memory Lane earlier this year.
The main problem, according to the suit: Classmates customers frustrated with the company’s business practices are now hounding the sports collectible company, under the incorrect impression that it’s the operator of the Classmates site. An excerpt from the lawsuit.
These consumers are confused and mistakenly believe that MEMORY LANE has defrauded them or is the source of credit card charges they wish to dispute regarding transactions with defendants’ business activities. These customers mistakenly believe that plaintiff Memory Lane, Inc. is, represents or is affiliated with defendants, particularly CLASSMATES.COM. Plaintiff has also received numerous phone calls from confused consumers having the incorrect belief that plaintiff is actually the defendant operating the website at www.classmates.com.
Here’s a copy of the suit, with Memory Lane asking the court to enjoin Classmates from infringing on its trademark.
Classmates, one of the original social networks on the Internet, still uses the Classmates name as a secondary brand but rebranded its primary site earlier this year as part of a new focus on nostalgic content — attempting to find a niche that isn’t as vulnerable to competition from Facebook.
The company has faced repeated complaints over its billing practices and earlier this year agreed to pay out up to $9.5 million in a consumer lawsuit over deceptive emails.
We’ve contacted United Online for comment on the Memory Lane Inc. suit and will update this post depending on the response.