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Complaint site wins court victory

A Web site that criticizes electronics e-tailer Egghead.com wins a small legal victory after a judge throws out Egghead's suit against the site.

A Web site that criticizes and pokes fun at electronics e-tailer Egghead.com won a small legal victory when a judge threw out Egghead's suit against the site.

Egghead sued Eggheadsucks.com last year for misappropriation of trade secrets, negligent interference with contract and unfair competition among others. A Superior Court judge in California last week granted a motion by Eggheadsucks to dismiss the suit since the site is outside California and the judge had no jurisdiction over it.

"The suit was bogus from the start, but I guess they thought they could muscle me," Eggheadsucks founder Mark Sutton wrote in an e-mail to CNET News.com.

Egghead attorney Emmett Stanton said the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Egghead became interested in Sutton's site after it had reason to believe he was involved in publishing confidential information on the Web that belonged to Egghead.

"Egghead didn't care about the criticism from the Web site," Stanton said. "It has thousands of critics...what they do care about is protecting its confidential and proprietary information.?

Filing the lawsuit was the only way that Egghead could find out who was running Eggheadsucks, Stanton said. A lawsuit enabled the company to subpoena records from Eggheadsucks Internet Service Provider for information on its operators. Egghead has yet to determine whether it will file a lawsuit in Sutton's home state, Stanton said.

Sutton didn't comment on the posting of private information.

Eggheadsucks is among dozens of Web sites that do little else but host complaints and take jabs at specific companies, such as Fry's Electronic Experiences, which lampoons offline computer retailer Fry's Electronics.

"Egghead shares are worth 60 cents," says a message on the site's front door. "My dilemma: A share of Egghead or that diet soda." Egghead closed trading Thursday at 97 cents.

In addition to complaints and links to stories about setbacks at Egghead, the site prominently featured stories about a hacker who penetrated Egghead's Web site.