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CU System
CUES sues Digital University over URL usage
MADISON, Wis. (4/6/11)--The Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) has filed suit in a U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., against Digital University Inc. and an individual, Keith Thygerson, over the university's continued use of CUES' trademarked internet addresses (URLs) after the two companies terminated a contract for online training services in March. Madison, Wis.-based CUES provides conferences, seminars, online learning and executive education to credit unions. It markets under the CUES and CUES Online University trademarks, according to its complaint filed in Friday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. The society contracted La Jolla, Calif.-based Digital University on Oct. 3, 2008, to provide online content for credit union staff and maintain software programs required to deliver CUES' Online University program. CUES retained the ownership of the trademarks and URLS, including cuesu.org, cuesuplus.org, cuesupro.org, cuesu.net, and cuesuplus.net, the complaint said. When the agreement was terminated March 15, the defendants continued to use the URLs in violation of the agreement and have not transferred the URLs back to CUES, said the complaint. On March 25, Kenneth Thygerson, president of Digital told CUES the university had no control over the cuespro.org and cuesuplus.org, which were registered "in the name of an individual who has no obligation to sell or transfer them to Digital University," said the document. Digital University is identified as the registrant of three of the URLs. Thygerson's son, Keith Thygerson, is identified as the registrant of the cuespro.org and cuesuplus.org URLs, and that registration lists the university's corporate address, said the complaint. CUES said Digital's use of the URLs is a "false designation of origin, false description, and false representation that Digital University's services are provided by, sponsored by, authorized by, or affiliated with CUES," and that the actions "are likely to cause confusion or mistake among purchasers" and amount to trading on CUES' goodwill. It alleges Digital University engaged in trademark infringement, unfair competition, cyber squatting, fraudulent representation, and breach of contract. It is seeking a judgment, injunctions to stop the use of the URLs, their immediate transfer back to CUES, and statutory and punitive damages.


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