Make us your home page

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

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, 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

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

  1. Irma slows curbside trash service in Pasco


    Hurricane Irma brought a hiccup to twice-weekly curbside trash service in Pasco County.

Pasco officials are asking for patience about the slow pace of residential trash service from private haulers. In some areas, trash hasn't been collected since Friday, Sept. 8, because of the volume of waste left after Hurricane Irma.
  2. Clemson reunion for Bucs' Adam Humphries, Vikings' Mackensie Alexander


    Bucs receiver Adam Humphries will have a familiar face lining up against him Sunday when he's in the slot and the Vikings have Mackensie Alexander guarding him as their nickel defensive back.

    Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries (10) makes a reception before being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive back Marcus Cooper (31) Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Tampa ranks behind Miami and Orlando in Most Fun Cities in America list


    Is Tampa really among the "most fun cities in America?"

    Tampa's large number of festivals was among the factors that earned it a high ranking.
  4. Vinoy seeks to educate voters before November referendum


     The high profile match between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker has cast a long shadow over other candidates and issues on the St. Petersburg residents' Nov. 7 ballot.

    The Vinoy is seeking voter approval to build a one-story parking garage behind the resort
  5. Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter thanks his former dance instructor from Tampa in touching tribute (w/ video)


    TAMPA -- Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter appeared at a meeting of the Hillsborough County commission on Wednesday.

    Tell me why.

    During a Hillsborough County Commission meeting, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys appeared via video to thanks local dance instructor Sandy Karl, who retired after 45 years in the business.