When Mailblocks launched a year and a half ago, it seemed really strange. Here was a company that was doing exactly what a number of other companies were already doing (challenge-response email), but somehow Mailblocks got a ridiculous amount of press for their "me too" offering. They also suddenly trotted out a bunch of pointless patents and started suing everyone until a judge told them to give it up as the patents didn't seem particularly valid. Since then, the company has been fairly quiet. There have been reports of semi-frequent outages of the service, and unlike the predictions, it appears that challenge-response hasn't really taken off like people planned. So, the company with a big patent plan and good press contacts ended up quietly selling out to AOL, so that AOL can now offer an option that Earthlink gave its customers quite some time ago.
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