Trademark Troll Taught That Misusing Trademarks Isn't Such A Great Idea
from the good-work dept
Back in 2005, we had a post about a guy who was misusing trademark law to basically bully plenty of companies into giving him money. It was based on a fundamental misunderstanding of trademark law, where the guy, Leo Stoller, seemed to believe that once he had a trademark on a word, such as “stealth” he had complete control over the word, and could sue any company that used “stealth” in a brand name. Of course, that’s not how trademark works at all — and it appears the courts have now made that very clear to Mr. Stoller. BoingBoing brings us up to date on the fact that Stoller didn’t just lose one of his court cases, he was forced to declare bankruptcy and have both his personal and corporate assets (including the trademarks) liquidated. Also, the US Patent and Trademark Office sanctioned him and banned Stoller from filing for trademark extensions for a period of two years. Sure, it may have seemed nice for him to have found what he thought was a legal loophole to bully companies into paying him money — but eventually he learned that misusing trademarks isn’t quite the road to riches he imagined.