Despite a lawsuit that forced it to change names literally overnight, Kenneth L. Tepper says he is confident that his Internet bank can do well under its new identity, USABancShares.com Inc.
Since early August the $250 million-asset Internet bank of which Mr. Tepper is chief executive officer had been involved in a heated trademark dispute with $77 billion-asset U.S. Bancorp over trade and Internet domain names.
According to U.S. Bancorp, the cyberbank's old name, USABanc.com, was too similar to its own and infringed on trademark rights.
When the Internet bank switched to USABancShares.com, U.S. Bancorp said it still was not satisfied. But in a settlement Wednesday, Minneapolis-based U.S. Bancorp relented. Mr. Tepper fought hard for the old name but said he can live with the new one.
"I think it's a good thing for us,'' he said. "USABancShares.com is close enough.
"The fact of the matter is we still have USA in our name, we still have dot.com in our name ... and we're proud of it."
U.S. Bancorp spokesman Don Waage also declared victory.
"We're glad that it's all settled," he said. "We prevailed in protecting our service marks, and that's what we were trying to do."
After the agreement was announced, shares of USABancShare.com jumped 12%, to $9.8125. They were trading at $9.625 at midafternoon Thursday.
Mr. Tepper said he plans to vigorously promote his bank's new name.
"We are going to continue to compete. We are going to redouble our efforts," he said. "We intend to immediately launch and resume our national advertising campaign."
The dispute came to a head late last month when a federal district judge in Minneapolis issued a temporary order barring Mr. Tepper's bank from using the USABanc.com name. The next day the bank returned to the Web as USABancShares.com.
A version of this story first appeared on American Banker Online.