RealTime IT News

Snap Technologies Sues CNET Over Domain

CNET Inc., publisher of a variety of technology Web sites, Friday became the latest company to face a domain name lawsuit.

Snap Technologies Inc., which produces the CollegeEdge Web site, Friday filed a complaint in a San Francisco federal court against CNET, requesting the company stop using the Snap name in conjunction with its search property Snap! Online.

Snap Technologies said it gained a trademark for the Snap name in March 1996, before CNET was founded. Snap also said CNET adopted the brand for its search engine after Snap Technologies' own Web site became active. Snap Technologies said CNET's use of the Snap name is likely to create confusion because both companies offer their services over the Internet and both provide information aimed at college students.

"Snap Technologies has a very successful franchise in serving the online college information services market -- a Web market that we've developed from the ground up. Confusion over the brand we established is detrimental to our business. We intend to vigorously fight for our company's identity," said Young Shin, Snap Technologies' president and chief executive officer.

While the company did market its services under the Snap Technologies name in the beginning, earlier this year it started referring to itself as CollegeEdge in all promotional material. However, all trademark notices on the Web site retained the Snap Technologies name.

A CNET spokesman called the lawsuit meritless and said the company planned a vigorous defense.

In July, broadcast network NBC took a 5 percent stake in Snap! in a deal that gives them the option to purchase up to 60 percent of the Web property.