Late to the Party

Did you remember to register your domain?

Forget about whats in a name. The bigger question is who owns the URL.

Just ask Solutech Inc., which this week will change its name to Quilogy Inc. because it was too late in registering its Web address. The URL was grabbed by Solutech Consulting Services, which launched a couple of years after Solutech Inc. hit the market in 1992.

And there, the matter lay dormant until Solutech Inc. opened an office in Sacramento, Calif. That put the two Solutech rivals in the same state and cost Solutech Inc. some business.

"We didnt think it was a big deal, because they didnt have a Web page until 1998," says Solutech Inc. VP Matt Warmack. "It created a lot of confusion in hiring practices and sales."

The two companies went to court over the decision, but they settled out of court, agreeing not to talk about the terms. Still, Solutech Inc. clearly didnt win the URL.

"We came to the conclusion that it would cost a lot of money and time, or that we could turn it into an opportunity," says Randy Schilling, CEO of Solutech Inc. "I had been wanting to redo our logo for some time, anyway."

It looks like the timing was more than ripe. There are three other Solutechs on the U.S. map. One is a chemical company in the Los Angeles area, but the other two are services companies in Illinois and Ohio.

For Solutech Inc., the next hurdle is letting customers know about the change. "Were getting the message out any way we can," Schilling says. "But that doesnt include Superbowl ads."