Porn goes public

Now it's time for porn Web sites to float

One of the biggest pornography sites on the Internet plans to go public this autumn, cashing in on investors' seemingly endless appetite for all things cyber.

Whitehouse.com is close to finishing work on an S1 registration statement in preparation for an initial public offering in November, according to the company's CEO Dan Parisi. "Hopefully, we'll be ready to go by then," said Parisi, but he declined to go into further detail about the company's prospective debut as a publicly traded stock.

The X-rated IPO would be watched closely both by operators of other adult entertainment sites as well as by venture capitalists looking for hot new investment opportunities. Adult sites are some of the biggest traffic generators on the Web. Their popularity also makes them among the most potentially lucrative enterprises, analysts have said.

The company also disclosed that it had resolved a legal dispute with National Fruit Product over the right to use the trademark "whitehouse". Terms of the accord were not released, and a spokesman for National Fruit was not available. In August, National Fruit sent Whitehouse.com a letter, registering its objection to its use of a term that the juice maker had incorporated in labeling and advertising since 1913. Its lawyers claimed Whitehouse.com had infringed and diluted National Fruit's trademark. Whitehouse.com subsequently filed a lawsuit, asking the courts for a declaratory judgement freeing it to use the term whitehouse.

"I'm very happy that this was settled," Parisi said, adding that the agreement did not involve any exchange of money. "We didn't want people coming after us in the same way." However, Whitehouse.com still has some way to go.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has consistently refused to award Parisi's company rights to use the Whitehouse trademark. Lawyers for Whitehouse.com have resubmitted an application for trademark registration, including Media Metrix reports for July and August that put it ahead of the government-operated White House site in overall page views and unique visitors.

"If you're going to say the term 'whitehouse' means the presidential residence, then you have to say that this applies to the other sites using the trademark as well," Parisi said. "They're just doing it for ours."

Newsletters

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All