Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Largo business sues rival company over Internet domain name

The owners of Largo lawn service company Alexander's Property Maintenance discovered last year that a rival company in St. Petersburg had bought its Internet presence for $9.99.

And now, according to a lawsuit filed last month, Alexander's wants its name back.

The domain name "Alexanderpropertymaintenance.com" was purchased last summer by rival company Floridian Pest and Turf Management of St. Petersburg, which was redirecting traffic to its own Web site, Floridianpestandturf.com.

The reason for the purchase, said Dean Hall, owner of Floridian, was a financial dispute. The two companies, he said, used to be business partners. Floridian took care of the pest control, Alexander's, the grass cutting.

But the arrangement didn't go as planned, he said.

According to the lawsuit, the name-grab has cost Alexander customers.

"Alexander relies on search engines, such as Google, to generate business and increase sales by attracting new customers who learn of the company through Internet searches," the suit reads.

Hall said he has no intention of running his competitor out of business — he just wanted to "take a jab" at his former partner.

"It became more of a pain in the neck for me. Now I have to get my attorney," Hall said.

Representatives for Alexander's declined to comment.

Hall has since "parked" the Web site, which means that it is inactive and no longer directs traffic to his own page.

With the ability to cheaply buy Web sites via registrars such as GoDaddy.com, cybersquatting, taking Web properties that could be trademarks of others, has become another hazard on the business battlefield.

Karl Kronenberger, an Internet law attorney, said many cases involving businesses and cybersquatting come about simply because many people don't know what the rules are.

"Bear in mind that 25 percent of all traffic is type-in traffic, where people type in addresses directly into the address field. If someone purchases a domain name listing exactly their competitor's domain name, there is a chance traffic is re-directed," Kronenberger said.

Dominick Tao can be reached at (727) 580-2951 or dtao@sptimes.com.

Largo business sues rival company over Internet domain name 03/20/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 23, 2010 2:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    While the Lightning is still trying to bolster its blueline via trade, it selected a big, right shot defenseman Cal Foote at No. 14 overall Friday in the NHL Draft.

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  2. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  3. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.

  4. The Lightning's 2017-18 road jersey
  5. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.