An animal rights group settled a legal dispute in which Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus claimed the activists stole its name for an anti-circus Internet site.

The circus filed a federal lawsuit April 22 claiming People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals misappropriated the Ringling Bros. trade name.PETA registered "" as the domain name of an Internet site where it posted allegations that the circus mistreats animals.

PETA agreed to transfer the domain name to Ringling Bros. in exchange for withdrawal of the lawsuit, Ingrid Newkirk, president of the Norfolk-based group, said Wednesday.

"It (the site) had served its purpose," Newkirk said. "Ringling had brought all the attention in the world to it."

PETA now has a new, expanded site under the name ""