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BargainBid.com in domain battle with uBid

The auction Web site wins a preliminary injunction against its rival under the new Anti-Cybersquatting Act.

Auction Web site BargainBid.com has won a preliminary injunction against rival uBid under the new Anti-Cybersquatting Act.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New York, also names as defendants a Tennessee man who allegedly diverted consumers to uBid's Web site and the domain name host, Digital Nation.

According to the suit, the Tennessee man registered a domain name similar to BargainBid's, only he misspelled the name as "BarginBid.com." Users who accidentally signed on to BarginBid were directed to the uBid Web site.

"No revenue was derived from this for uBid," a uBid spokesman said. "None of the people who came from (the Tennessee man's) site registered or bought anything.

"BargainBid is using this lawsuit as a publicity stunt to try and steal uBid's thunder in the auction market," he added.

James Wicks of Farrell Fritz PC, BargainBid's lawyer in the case, said that after the company filed a cease-and-desist letter Nov. 22, the defendants did nothing about it for nearly two weeks.

"All (of the defendants) ignored it for close to two weeks over the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, which is a critical time for the company," Wicks said. He added that the conflict coincided with BargainBid's ad campaign featuring comedian Rodney Dangerfield.

The lawsuit, originally filed Nov. 22 and amended under the Anti-Cybersquatting Act Dec. 1, alleges that uBid and Belcher "embarked upon a plan to compete unfairly" with BargainBid. It seeks an unspecified amount of statutory damages under the Anti-Cybersquatting Act and seeks to have the BarginBid domain named turned over to BargainBid.

Wicks said that Belcher's BarginBid site has been disabled.

The case is one of several filed since the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act was signed into law in November.

The law is designed to protect businesses from those who register company trademarks as Internet addresses in bad faith. So far, the law has not been fully tested in court.

Most recently, youth publication Teen Magazine won a temporary injunction against operators of a hard-core pornography Web site that used the magazine's name as its domain name.

Another case was brought by an adventure sports Web site called Quokka.com, but that ended in a settlement among the parties Dec. 22.

A day earlier, a coalition of national sports league members sued a Canadian Web operator, accusing him of unlawfully hawking email addresses with the names of professional sports teams.

Several other cases that have sprung up are awaiting court hearings.