Getloaded.com gets sued by Internet Truckstop
Midlothian-based GetLoaded.com will be the defendant in a jury trial that begins Feb. 19 in U.S. District Court in Boise, Idaho.Information about the lawsuit remains scant because the court has sealed the file, but the company confirmed last week that the Internet Truckstop of New Plymouth, Idaho, is suing GetLoaded.com, claiming the company stole intellectual property in producing its Web site. GetLoaded.com provides a Web site which links truckers with companies that need to move freight. It eliminates a problem known as "deadheading" when a trucker makes a delivery and has nothing to tote home. The Internet Truckstop produces a Web site that does primarily the same thingKen Hammond, one of the founders of GetLoaded, confirmed that his company is being sued by the Internet TruckStop, which runs a business called Truckstop.com. Hammond said the trial could last until March 8, but wouldn't comment further.The plaintiff in the case also was mum last week."The only thing we can say is yes, there is a legal proceeding happening," said Scott Moscrip, chief executive of the Internet Truckstop.Dana Smith, a deputy clerk with the Idaho federal court, also would not offer much information about the sealed case.GetLoaded.com's attorney, John Dozier, reportedly was in Idaho last week and did not return a phone message or e-mail before press time.Speaking on a condition of anonymity, one person close to the proceedings said that the Internet Truckstop alleged that GetLoaded.com copied systems and has accused the Midlothian firm of luring or enticing programmers to give up inside information. The source said the Internet Truckstop is seeking punitive damages and might even attempt to take ownership of GetLoaded.com."It's kind of like trademark infringement," the source said. "You have to go after them. If not, you dilute your case later on."GetLoaded.com was launched by Hammond and Patrick Hull in April of 1999. Hammond and Hull told INSIDE BUSINESS in a December 2000 story that the site attracted more than 6,000 visitors each day. The site claims that 37,859 companies have used the service.The Internet Truckstop began in 1995 in New Plymouth, Idaho, a town of about 1,300 people, according to Moscrip. He said it was the first company to do such business over the Internet.