Lawsuit: Dynamic Energy Partners, Victim Of Online Defamation & Scandal

February 3rd, 2012 - Posted by Admin

Dynamic Energy Partners: Victim of online defamation & scandal.

Article in its original form can be found here at the Dallas Business Journal Site. http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/print-edition/2011/08/05/lawsuits-claim-cybersquatting.html?page=all

 

The Dallas Business Journal
Suits against Breitling energy firm claim cybersquatting, defamation
Cases highlight need to monitor online activities, attorney says
Premium content from Dallas Business Journal by Bill Hetchcock, Staff writer
Date: Friday, August 5, 2011, 5:00am CDT – Last Modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011, 2:36pm CDT

Two competitors of an Irving oil and gas investment corporation have filed lawsuits claiming that the company’s chief executive published defamatory information about them online after setting up websites containing variations of the competitors’ names.

Dallas-based Fusion Energy LLC claims in a lawsuit filed July 11 that Christopher Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Oil and Gas Corp., acquired the websites fusionoilandgas.com and fusionoilandgas.blogspot.com, then began publishing “defamatory, false, and malicious information” about Fusion and its president and CEO, William Scott Court.

Faulkner, through his attorney, denied wrongdoing.

This case shows the importance of companies monitoring what’s written about them on the Internet, said Jeffrey S. Lowenstein, a partner who specializes in intellectual property law at Bell Nunnally & Martin LLP in Dallas.

“It is not uncommon for people to use websites to speak ill of companies,” Lowenstein said. But “you get yourself in trouble when you try to confuse the person looking at the website into believing they’re reading the website of the company you’re talking about.”

The Fusion-related websites at first blush appear to be operated by investors in the company and contain messages with misleading or incorrect information, according to the company’s complaint.

“I was ripped off by the company in an oil and gas investment,” the complaint quotes one of the sites as saying. The websites serve no legitimate purpose, said Bob Arnett of Dallas law firm Munck Carter LLP. Arnett represents Fusion and Court.

“We believe Breitling and Faulkner are infringing our trademarks for the purpose of deceiving potential investors,” Arnett said.

A lawsuit filed April 8 by Midlothian-based Roberts Investment Group and Timothy Roberts contains similar allegations. Roberts claims Faulkner or people working with Faulkner acquired about 20 websites using variations of “Roberts Investment Group” and “Timothy Roberts” as domain names. Faulkner then worked with two former employees of Roberts Investment Group to publish false, defamatory information about Roberts and his investment group, the complaint says.

Lawyer Larry Friedman of Dallas-based Friedman & Feiger LLP, who represents Faulkner and Breitling, said the statements made on the websites are truthful and aren’t disparaging or malicious.

“It’s a commercial speech case, it’s a freedom-of-speech case and it’s a fair competition case,” Friedman said. “All of those issues, though well plowed in the past, have not been developed as far as the Internet goes.”

The suits, both filed in U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, accuse Faulkner and Breitling of cybersquatting, trademark and trade name infringement, unfair competition, libel and business disparagement under state and federal laws.

Ben Krage of Krage & Janvey LLP, who represents Roberts and his company, called it one of the strangest cases he’s handled in 42 years of practicing law.

A Web-hosting company called CI Host that Faulkner ran as CEO in the early 2000s faced allegations similar to those raised in the Fusion and Roberts complaints.

Court documents claim a representative of CI Host, one of the nation’s largest Web-hosting companies at the time, registered at least a dozen Internet addresses that included variations of the name “Go2Net.com,” then one of the largest Internet search engines. A CI Host representative then posted offers of free legal counsel on the sites to anyone who had purchased advertising from Go2Net, saying they had “suffered damages and (qualified) for a class-action status to sue Go2Net at NO cost.” A federal judge ordered CI Host, based in Bedford at the time, to remove all websites in which the name “Go2Net” appeared in the address.

The number of cybersquatting case filings seems to have tapered off as the better domain names have been snatched up and as out-of-court methods to resolve domain name disputes were put in place, Lowenstein said.

Breitling has raised more than $1.6 million from investors under two entities since April. Breitling Oil & Gas Corp. raised $556,192 and Breitling Royalties Corp. raised $1,128,014, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Looking for more information on Dynamic Energy Partners?

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Dynamic Energy Partners :: Article on Onlinereviewinc.com

Dynamic Energy Partners :: Information on Hightechlistings.com

Dynamic Energy Partners :: Article on Nationalprofilebase.com

Dynamic Energy Partners :: Listed on 411inconline.com

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