Jewish World Review March 18, 2004 / 25 Adar, 5764

Aman Batheja

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Consumer Reports

End of an era? ‘DotComGuy’ auctioning off his trademark name | (KRT) Mitch Maddox, who legally changed his name to DotComGuy in 1999 and got lots of media attention because of a yearlong Internet stunt, is selling his trademark name.

"I've taken it as far as I can go," Maddox said Tuesday.

In 2000, the 30-year-old Dallas native moved into an empty house and survived for a year solely off purchases made on the Internet. Viewers could watch Maddox 24 hours a day via a streaming webcast on his Web site,

Maddox began an auction Tuesday for the trademark DotComGuy and the domain name The auction ends April 30.

"It's an asset I've had lying around, and I think it can really benefit someone else," Maddox said.

The market for domain names certainly influenced his decision, Maddox said, pointing to the recent sale of for $1.8 million.

Media outlets worldwide covered Maddox's online stunt. The promotion garnered sponsorships from several major companies including UPS and, an online grocer.

Maddox was visited by celebrities and performers including Ed McMahon and the rock band Incubus.

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At its peak, the site attracted millions of hits a day, but it quickly tapered off. Halfway through the year, the endeavor had technical difficulties and sponsors bailed out.

"People always ask you if it was boring. That's the last thing it was," Maddox said. "That was a life experience packed into one year that could easily fill 30 years."

After his yearlong commitment expired, Maddox faded from the public eye. In the interim, he took some time off, traveled the world and made speeches.

Maddox is now a system manager with Trammel Crow Residential, a real estate company based in Dallas.

In November 2002, he married Anne Rehfeldt, a Fort Worth native he met through the online dating service The marriage license says Rehfeldt married DotComGuy, Maddox said.

Maddox said he will be happy to retake his family name as well as allow his wife to take his last name.

On the DotComGuy Web site, Maddox offers several suggestions for how the trademark could be used, including as a company mascot or as the name of "a friendly guide for your online customers."

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© 2004, Fort Worth Star-Telegram Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services