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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Ind. Decisions - "Appeals panel rules against LaPorte County tourism bureau" in domain name dispute

The Court of Appeals decision April 15th in Serenity Springs, et al. v. The LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau is the subject of a story today in the NWI Times, written by Stan Maddux. The story begins:

The LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau has lost the latest round of a legal fight over its bid to lay claim to a website address, visitmichigancitylaporte.com.

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Monday ruled in favor of Serenity Springs, a resort in the area of Interstate 94 and U.S. 20 just east of Michigan City.

Jonathan Watson, of South Bend, an attorney for the resort, said Serenity Springs is cleared to resume using the website address, something that nearly landed his client, Laura Ostergren, in jail.

"They're free to start using the web address again," said Watson.

The dispute began in September 2009 when the LCC&VB unveiled Visit Michigan City LaPorte as the new branding identifier for the area following a study by a private marketing firm.

A representative of Serenity Springs attended.

Immediately after the meeting, a Serenity Springs employee registered the domain name "visitmichigancitylaporte.com" and set it up to redirect Internet traffic to the Serenity Springs website.

The LCC&VB the next day tried registering the same domain name but discovered it already had been purchased and was being used as the resort's website address.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 17, 2013 11:36 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions