Mix-up has ASU fans going to nudist site
Arizona State University has filed a trademark claim against a nudist group because an online mix-up is causing fans of its Sun Devils athletics program to end up on an adults-only website, myFOXphoenix.com reported Wednesday.
The problem is a simple letter "S."
SunDevil.com will take you to a website about ASU athletics, but SunDevils.com will take you to a website created by a woman named Vera. The site features Vera, posing in various places, such as in front of the Golden Gate Bridge — in the buff.
She and others in her club, the Diablo Sun Devils, are naturists.
"It's just a naturist's club, people who like to go to a beach and be nude or go to a naturist club," said Vera's husband, Rod Marshall.
Marshall said they launched DiabloSunDevils.com in 1999 and recently the owner of SunDevils.com — a Canadian not at all associated with Marshall and his wife — started redirecting traffic to the site.
"I don't know anything about it, I don't know how to fix it, I don't know how it happened," Marshall said. "I know I had nothing to do with it."
Data Doctor computer expert Ken Colburn said when registering a company name or brand, it is best to look at different ways it can be spelled, including singular or plural.
"It's not something you want to have happen with your brand or your name or your trademark, so it's a great lesson for folks out there: just one character can make a huge difference on the internet," he said.