College Sues Naughty America

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Naughty America, which owns a network of adult websites, is being sued by National American University over its Naughty America University site.

According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star-Tribune, National American is claiming trademark violations and also cyber piracy for use of the name Naughty America University and also the acronym NAU, which it said is the same as the educational body's acronym. However, the newspaper's AP story called it Naughty American Universitry rather than America.

National American maintains campuses around the country and its parent company Dlorah Inc. filed a civil complaint in federal court in its home base of Rapid City against La Touraine Inc., the San Diego-based, Nevada-registered company that operates Naughty America.

"We have not been served and we have not seen the lawsuit, so we cannot comment on it," Naughty America spokesperson Max Constupro told Friday morning. "Once we see it, we'll be glad to comment on it."

The lawsuit, filed May 22, seeks to stop the use of the school's trademark and also asks a jury to award financial damages.

Dlorah has operated under the National American University and NAU names since 1997 and operates 16 campuses in South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas, along with Internet courses for degrees.

The Star-Tribune notes that La Touraine's Naughty America registered its university domain name in September 2003 and followed not long after by Fast Times at NAU (a play on the '80s cult movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High).

According to the complaint, La Touraine sought to trademark NAU until Dlorah stepped in. The new lawsuit claims the names and acronym are "nearly identical in sight, sound and commercial impression" to National American University. The filing also states the use of the name and acronym is confusing for current students, potential students, alumni and parents.

Referring to Naughty America's sex site, the lawsuit said, "These activities are likely to cause consumer confusion and harm Plaintiff's goodwill established in its National American University and NAU trademarks."

Dlorah and its attorney also could not be reached.

In a simple Web search, found numerous other NAU acronyms, including other colleges, such as Northern Arizona University as well as a clothing company.  

Watch this space for possible further developments in this case.