Ken Block isn’t taking too kindly to Mad Media’s registration and use of the domain name Gymkhana.com and is taking to court to sue his former co-producers.
Last Friday, Block and his company Gravel Farms Racing, LLC., filed a lawsuit against Mad Media over the legalities of the latter’s use of the website Gymkhana.com. In the lawsuit, Block and GFR are arguing that Mad Media breached its contractual obligations to them by registering and using the domain name "Gymkhana.com."
“By registering and using the domain GYMKHANA.COM, Mad Media breached its contractual obligations to Plaintiffs to refrain from using the knowledge it gained from its contractual relationship with Plaintiffs to misappropriate, interfere with, or profit from opportunities and property in the GYMKHANA brand,” the lawsuit said.
Jalopnik reached out to Mad Media to take their side on the matter and Joshua Martelli of Mad Media defended the company’s decision to register the site. “The automotive sport of Gymkhana has been around since the early 1900’s," he said. "No one has the right to prevent the public from using the word gymkhana to report on, discuss, or promote the sport - especially on a website.”
So according to Mad Media, gymkhana is a sport that’s been around longer than any of us reading this have been alive and Block has no ownership rights to the word. On the contrary, Block owns the trademark for Gymkhana and fired back at Mad Media, claiming that the company did not own the URL "Gymkhana.com" and that Mad Media purchased the URL while they were working for GFR.
"This is the part we find extremely unethical," Block said. "When you hire any company to work for you, it is expected that they will not try to steal from you and build something from your creative project."
Expect more twists and turns akin to Block’s actual Gymkhana videos from what’s looking like a long legal bout between these two companies.
In case you’ve forgotten the three Gymkhana videos these two companies collaborated on, you can watch all thee - or four - videos after the jump!