General Motors is suing online lending exchange LendingTree in a lawsuit that alleges trademark infringement and cyberpiracy.

The giant automaker last week asked a federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan to block LendingTree from using the Web site,, to promote its lending services because the domain name is almost identical to GMAC’s GMAC stands for General Motors Acceptance Corp., the name of the company’s mortgage lending arm.

The lawsuit sites the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act and seeks a permanent injunction, as well as payment of all revenues or profits made as a result of the alleged trademark use. The suit will test the laws on trademark use and Internet domain names and is an example of the growing importance of the Internet in conducting business and advertising services.

No one from GMAC could be reached this morning to comment on the lawsuit.

Web users who mistakenly add an extra dot to the URL for GMAC’s real estate Web site arrive at LendingTree’s site instead. includes a home search feature, links to LendingTree’s find-a-Realtor service and sections about mortgages and consumer credit reports. LendingTree prominently advertises its services on the site.

LendingTree owns, as well as the “” sub-domain. That means any word or combination of characters–not just “GMAC”–that is entered before the “” sub-domain will divert users to the Web site.

The complaint alleges that LendingTree “misappropriated and is using the Internet domain name and sub-domain name ‘’ to divert Internet users and potential customers of GM to (its) own competing Web site and competing products and services.”

LendingTree said it has done nothing to divert GMAC’s traffic.


“It’s important to note that we have never marketed or promoted in any way the use of any GMAC name or mark as a sub-domain of the domain,” LendingTree said in a statement.


LendingTree said there are legitimate business reasons for setting up domains to send traffic from a sub-domain into the main domain address and that the previous owner of the domain and sub-domain had the URL set up in the same way.

GM first began using the name GMAC Mortgage Corp. in 1985, according to the complaint. In 1999, the company began using the trademark “GMAC Real Estate” and registered the Internet domain name to offer its mortgage and financial services.

Media mogul Barry Diller’s InteractiveCorp owns LendingTree. The company matches consumers to mortgage lenders and real estate agents. The LendingTree lending exchange includes more than 200 banks, while the realty services arm connects home buyers and sellers to a nationwide network of approximately 10,000 Realtors.


Send tips or a letter to the editor to or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Inman Connect is LIVE today! Join us and thousands of your peers from wherever you are.Register Now×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription