|Dennis Eric Toeppen|
|Born||1964 (age 50–51)
Mount Prospect, Illinois
|Education||BS, MS, MBA|
|Alma mater||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Chicago
|Occupation||Bus company owner|
|Home town||Mount Prospect, Illinois|
Early life and education
Dennis Eric Toeppen grew up in Mount Prospect, Illinois. He graduated from Prospect High School in 1982 and enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, majoring in electrical engineering. He later changed his major to business, and graduated in 1987. Thereafter, he obtained a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, a master's degree in transportation from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.
In 1983, Toeppen started Suburban Express, a bus company which provides transportation from Urbana-Champaign and several other towns containing universities to Chicago. After a price war with Greyhound which involved two Illinois Commerce Commission investigations initiated by Greyhound, Suburban Express' ticket sales equaled that of Greyhound by 1985.
In 2013, Suburban Express received a large amount of negative media coverage after filing 125 lawsuits against passengers and threatening others including a Reddit moderator. Afterwards, the company withdrew its lawsuits, then reinstated many. A former customer who was an active online commentator further alleged that Toeppen had posted lewd comments on Reddit about himself and another person.
Toeppen also started Allerton Charter Coach, Inc., a charter bus company with three buses and four vans as of 2014.
In 1995, Toeppen registered about 200 internet domain names including some which were similar to well known companies and popular trademarks. Some of them included panavision.com (Panavision), deltaairlines.com (Delta Air Lines), neiman-marcus.com (Neiman Marcus), eddiebauer.com (Eddie Bauer) and yankeestadium.com (New York Yankees). Some of these companies, like Delta Air Lines, paid Toeppen to acquire the domain names from him.
Panavision, a camera manufacturing company, sued Toeppen for trademark infringement instead of paying him $13,000 for the domain. The court ruled in favor of Panavision, forcing Toeppen to relinquish the domain name. In a similar case, Intermatic Inc., a timer manufacturing company, sued Toeppen instead of paying him $5,000 for the domain name intermatic.com. The case was ruled in favour of Intermatic. In 1999, US congress made it illegal to knowingly register websites containing trademarks with the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act.
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- Intermatic Inc. v. Toeppen, 947 F. Supp. 1227 (N.D. Ill. 1996).