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Raleigh Businessman Wants To Cash In On Domain Name

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RALEIGH — A Raleigh businessman believes his Internet address is one of the best investments he ever made. Now, he hopes to cash in on the online name game.

Stan Briggs' gold mine was born from a $100 investment. In 1994, he bought the Web addressNetworks.comfor his company.

It was his third choice since his first two were already taken.

"I got very lucky with this," Briggs says. "No doubt about it."

With a dozen employees, Network Computing Solutions of Raleigh helps clients with everything from Web site design to big market e-commerce. But, the company's potential cannot hold a candle to its web domain, which Briggs now wants to sell for $6 to $10 million.

"What really got me was when Business.com sold for $7.5 million," Briggs says. "I had to think that Networks.com was worth something like that."

Attorney John Rittelmeyer has defended several domain holders against trademark infringement claims. He says Briggs is no cyber-squatter since the name was picked for legitimate business reasons.

"That's a phenomenon. The branding of the dot-com name that I don't think the people who adopted this domain system ever anticipated," Rittelmeyer says.

Now Briggs is turning away domain suitors.

"The four million dollar offer was nice, but that's not going to close the piece of business," Briggs says.

Briggs says he will close bidding at the end of the month. If he still does not get his price, he will turn to an online auction.

Briggs also says if he sells his domain name, he plans to use the cash to grow his business and move the company to downtown Raleigh. He may also purchase a sailboat in Wilmington.


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