Utube sues YouTube over domain name confusion

Used-pipe equipment seller Universal Tube and Rollform Corporation is suing Google-owned video-sharing site YouTube over the clash between that company's domain name and its own, utube.com.

The firm wants YouTube to pay the costs of moving it to a new address or stop using the address youtube.com. It has filed a case with the US District Court to pursue its claims.

The company says that it has owned the web address for 10 years, and that its business has been disrupted by millions of web users mistakenly going to utube.com instead of YouTube.com.

"We've had to move our site five times in an effort to stay ahead of the YouTube.com visitors," Ralph Girkins, Universal Tube's president, told news agency AP.

Universal Tube said that the visitor numbers to its site had risen dramatically in recent months and that the company struggled to cope with the traffic. It said that the site had 68 million hits in August.

A notice explaining that the site was back online and had had to move provider because of the traffic volumes early yesterday. By the close of business yesterday that was replaced with a 'service unavailable' notice.

Universal Tube and Rollform Corporation sells used equipment that makes tubes and has 17 employees. It said that it was hoping to sell the controversial web address and locate its own services at a new address.

YouTube was bought by Google in an all share deal worth $1.65 billion in October. Universal Tube said that its side had to be shut down for a number of days when the deal was announced because of the additional traffic.