Local resident, Microsoft settle Web name suit

Software giant Microsoft reached a confidential settlement with a Fort Wayne man accused of trademark infringement.

This month, attorneys for Microsoft and Anthony Peppler signed an injunction that brought about the dismissal of the months-old federal lawsuit.

While the terms of the financial settlement were not made public, the injunction will prevent Peppler from engaging in the conduct that sparked the lawsuit in the first place. Peppler and his companies, 260.com , RealtimeInternet.com Inc., Modern Limited-Cayman Web Development, Express Personnel Advertising, Cayman Trademark Trust and JIT Limited, as well as 10 unnamed individuals, are prohibited from registering Internet domain names similar to names of Microsoft products and services.

Microsoft accused Peppler of creating Internet domain names that are “confusingly similar” to marks owned by Microsoft, in violation of Anticybersquatting and Consumer Protection Act, according to the court documents.

The practice, known as “typo squatting,” involves registering Internet domain names similar to licensed trade names, according to experts.

According to court documents, Peppler is prohibited from “registering, using or trafficking in any domain name that is identical or confusingly similar to Microsoft’s marks, including but not limited to domain names containing Microsoft’s marks and domain names containing misspelling of Microsoft’s marks,” nor can he help someone else create such domain names.

Microsoft had sought $100,000 in damages per domain name. With all the domain names Microsoft links to Peppler, he could be on the hook for $9.5 million and that does not include the punitive damages and the surrender of all “ill-gotten gains.”

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit after the settlement.