The company alleges (pdf) the site was set up by a former franchisee in which it is involved in litigation.
Finding the alleged owner of the site was no small feat. The suit details Sylvan Learningâ€™s attempts to track down the owner, starting with an inquiry to eNomâ€™s whois privacy service. That lead the company to an address in London. A contact there said he used to offer a service where people could use his address when registering domain names. The trail then moved to India and then to a former franchisee in Ohio.
The siteâ€™s owner allegedly did more that just create the site to peeve Sylvan. He allegedly forwarded web traffic to the site from Sylvanâ€™s corporate offices to competitor Huntington Learning Centers. He also allegedly bought Google Adwords for his site when someone searched for â€œSylvan Franchisesâ€.