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BidPal claims domain names in cybersquatting settlement

March 31, 2014

BidPal Inc. has won the right to claim ownership of Internet domain name bidpal.com and a handful of similar Web addresses after settling a federal lawsuit.

The owner of five web addresses—accused of “cybersquatting” on BidPal’s trademarked name—will relinquish bidpal.com, bidpal.org, bidpal.info, bidpal.biz and bidpal.mobi, according to a March 27 filing in federal court in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis-based BidPal, which develops software for charitable fundraising, in February sued the companies InterMediaOne and IntermediaOne-AGB, as well as the man listed as their principal, Peter Peterre.

The settlement filing did not indicate the defendants had to pay any financial damages.

Online registry records showed InterMediaOne acquired the Internet domains using the registration service GoDaddy.com, then “parked” them, meaning no one developed them. The sites were for sale.

BidPal’s lawsuit claimed InterMediaOne owned the domains “with a bad-faith intent to profit from BidPal’s substantial reputation and goodwill.”

Last week’s court filing ordered GoDaddy to transfer the five domain names “as soon as possible” to BidPal.

The claims against Peterre and the two InterMediaOne companies were dismissed.

BidPal is led by Chairman and CEO Scott Webber, a stalwart in the local tech community. He is best known as the former president and CEO of Software Artistry Inc., which in 1995 became the first Indiana software firm to go public.

BidPal officials declined to comment on the settlement.

InterMediaOne first began snapping up the web addresses in January 2000 by claiming BidPal.com. The company claimed BidPal.org the following year.

BidPal, the company, did not incorporate until 2007. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office signed off on BidPal’s trademark the following year.

It was too late for the legal protection to apply to the existing BidPal domains InterMediaOne owned, leaving BidPal to resort to using www.bidpalnetwork.com as its website.

Then InterMediaOne acquired three more BidPal domains in 2009: BidPal.info, BidPal.biz and BidPal.mobi. The company also renewed the existing domains—after BidPal registered its trademark, BidPal said.

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