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Copycat Amazon site changes name

The Greece-based bookseller, Amazon Greece, says it has changed its name, following a lawsuit filed two weeks ago by the behemoth online retailer.

Copycat online bookstore Amazon Greece has changed its name two weeks after Amazon.com filed suit against the company.

The Greece-based bookseller will now go by Greekbooksonline.com. However, the company still owns the domain names for Amazon.gr and Amazon.com.gr, and is still available at those addresses.

Greg Lloyd Smith, whose CITI Services Limited owns and operates Greekbooksonline.com, said the name change had nothing to with the company's legal dispute with Amazon. Amazon sued Smith and his company in U.S. District Court in Delaware last month, charging copyright and trademark infringement and extortion. The suit followed a related action in Greece involving unfair competition, which Amazon filed against Smith in July.

Smith said he intends to continue his legal battles with the e-commerce giant. "We intend to pursue it right to the last second. We haven't caved. We're playing a little game of chess here," Smith said.

Smith said he changed the name of Amazon Greece after finding some 1,600 variations of the "Amazon.com" domain name. Smith said he had "serious issues" with using a name that was that common.

"Amazon.com has?valued its brand at $20 million," Smith said. "That's interesting because it's the most widely abused name in world," he said.

In addition to its moniker, Amazon Greece had much the same look and feel of the Amazon Web site, with familiar tabs and menu bar on top. Amazon Greece billed itself as "Greece's biggest bookstore," similar to Amazon's former motto of "Earth's biggest bookstore."

Amazon spokesman Paul Capelli declined to comment on whether Amazon Greece's name change would lead the company to drop its lawsuit, saying only that Amazon continues to pursue the action.

"We have said that with this lawsuit, we're going to put other Amazon copycats and cybersquatters on notice," Capelli said. "We're going to aggressively pursue any site that engages in unfair business practices and tries to pass themselves off as being connected with Amazon."

Amazon is involved in another copyright and trademark dispute in Minnesota. In April, Minneapolis-based Amazon Bookstore Cooperative sued Amazon, asking the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis to order the company to stop using the "Amazon" name. The filing also asked that Amazon hand over profits generated from use of the name.