United suing website Untied.com

Nov. 28, 2012 at 9:22 PM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- United Continental Holdings Inc. said it is suing a Canadian engineering professor who runs a complaint website about the air carrier, but not to shut it down.

The website Untied.com had been posting complaints about Chicago-based United for 15 years, but the airline only filed suit after the site's owner, Professor Jeremy Cooperstock, redesigned the website in April.

At that point, United says the website was made over to look like its own website. The carrier says it is suing to protect its intellectual property, such as its logo, and to make sure consumers are not fooled into thinking they have made an official complaint with the company.

The lawsuits also alleges Untied.com violates its privacy by posting personal contact information about its employees online.

However, airline spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said, "We are not requesting the Web site be shut down."

Cooperstock, however, said the opposite.

"They are trying to shut down my site instead of dealing with their problems," he said. "If they had put as much effort into improving their service as into these SLAPP suits, there'd be no reason for the website," he said, using an acronym that stands for strategic lawsuit against public participation.

He also said his website looks like the United Airlines' website, because it's a parody.

"No reasonable person would possibly confuse my page with United's own page," he said.

The lawsuits were filed Nov. 19 at the Federal Court of Canada and the Superior Court of Quebec.

United is demanding Cooperstock change the appearance of his Web site and cease from posting contact information about its employees.

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