Dispute Between Dueling Online Training Companies Lands In Federal Court
Stormwind's aggressive advertising prompts lawsuit
Stormwind Epic Live screengrab
Call it the bitter battle of online training companies.
To win more customers, Stormwind Epic Live of Scottsdale has been alleging that its more established competitor, New Horizons Education Corporation of Anaheim, costs double the price and offers comparatively boring, hard-to-understand and out-of-date content.
Students using New Horizons "report it's hard to stay focused for 6-8 hours" and "most classes run all day for 5 days" while using "older online technology," Stormwind asserted in its online comparison detailing its "exceptional" programs.
New Horizons executives didn't appreciate the attack, writing a Feb. 7 letter to Stormwind CEO Tom Graunke to complain the allegations are "false and misleading statements" that violate trademark laws.
"We also understand that your company has slavishly copied and is displaying (via a link on the website) our client's video, and that your company has posted this video on the website without our client's permission," the letter stated before giving a Feb. 21 deadline to correct the issues.
Apparently, Graunke wasn't impressed. He let the deadline pass.
This week, lawyers for New Horizons--a company that operates in 70 countries--responded by filing a lawsuit in hopes of winning an injunction, damages and legal costs.
The defendant has not yet responded to the complaint.
Though the lawsuit was filed inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana, U.S. District Court Judge Manuel L. Real will preside over the case in Los Angeles.
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