RealTime IT News

Banks Battle Over Domain Name

A domain name lawsuit involving national bank holding company U.S. Bancorp and a small bank in Philadelphia this week led a federal court to issue an injunction temporarily shutting down Philadelphia's USABanc.com's newly launched Web site.

U.S. Bancorp last month filed suit in Minnesota against USABanc.com, Inc. in an attempt stop it from using its newly-launched Web site, www.usabanc.com.

According to the suit, U.S. Bancorp is worried that customers will confuse the new site for U.S. Bancorp's www.usbank.com. A federal judge in Minneapolis ordered USABanc.com to suspend use of its site and halt advertising until the dispute is cleared up.

"We've operated as U.S. Bank for over 100 years," said Don Waage, a spokesman for the U.S. Bank subsidiary. "Our whole concern is that we don't want our customers getting confused, and we don't want their customers getting confused either."

USABanc.com changed its name from USABancShares in May to focus on online banking services. Until the lawsuit is completed, the company continues to operate its online presence from www.usabancshares.com. That name is not challenged in the lawsuit.

"In light of the temporary order which requires us to refrain from doing business as USABanc.com, we have reverted our online identification to USABancShares, to preserve access to our FDIC insured products. . .," said Ken Tepper, president and CEO of USABanc.com.

USABanc.com has $230 million in assets and three Philadelphia area branches. Headquartered in Minneapolis, U.S. Bancorp has $77 billion in assets.