'Mormon Match' Dating Site Sued By Church
A Mormon dating website is being sued by the Mormon church over a trademark dispute.
Start-up company Mormon Match is looking to connect single members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
But the business arm of the church - Intellectual Reserve (IR) - has objected to the site trademarking the name Mormon Match because it holds the rights to the word Mormon.
After IR tried to get the site shut down, protection was sought in the US District Court by site founder Jonathan Eller. The IR then sued Mr Eller and his company.
Now the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has stepped in to defend Mr Eller, who is counter-suing the IR.
IR claims trademarks on several terms related to the church, including Mormon, Book of Mormon, and The Mormon Church.
But in a brief filed with the court, EFF said the word Mormon was too broad a term to be claimed in this way.
It said: "We believe there is more at stake in this litigation that the simple question of whether an online dating site should have to change its name.
"Intellectual Reserve has brought numerous claims against Jonathan Eller, a small start-up entrepreneur that in all likelihood cannot afford to fight.
"And that is unfortunate, because Eller's use of the term Mormon is indisputably fair.
"Cases such as this one, where the affirmative defence of fair use is so clear from the outset, can and should be dismissed at the earliest possible stage of litigation."
The Mormon Match site is still in a pre-registration mode and has not officially launched yet.
It explicitly states on the home page that it is not affiliated with the church.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for August 8.