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Act 8: Taubman Makes Me an Offer

I guess that my arguments must have been incredibly persuasive, because on August 16, 2001, I received a fax from Ms. Greenberg offering me $1,000 to settle!

OK, maybe it wasn't the cogency of my prose that led Taubman to offer to pay me off – maybe my registration of the "sucks.com" sites took them by surprise. Or, even more likely, they had probably planned all along to offer me some money if I didn't crumble immediately when they filed their lawsuit. (I'm not being cynical, I've been on the opposite side of these kinds of trademark disputes, and I know that at least some lawyers use that particular tactic.) But I guess that the bottom line is that any speculation about why Taubman decided to offer me $1,000 is just that.

Anyway, here's what Ms. Greenberg sent me.

Dear Mr. Mishkoff:

I am in receipt of your letter of August 10, 2001, and have discussed it with our client.

In an effort to resolve this matter expeditiously, without pursuing the lawsuit, our client has authorized us to offer you $1,000 in exchange for the following commitments from you:

  1. You will immediately stop using, and assign to my client all domain registrations currently owned by you or by any parties with whom you are affiliated which have any of our client's trademarks or names incorporated therein, including, but not limited to:

    • shopsatwillowbend.com
    • willowbendsucks.com
    • willowbendmallsucks.com
    • shopsatwillowbendsucks.com
    • theshopsatwillowbendsucks.com
    • taubmansucks.com

  2. You will agree not to register any domain names in the future which incorporate any trademark or name belong to our client; and

  3. You will refrain from referring to such trademarks or names on any web site, or incorporating any information about our client or any of its malls, shopping centers or other enterprises on any web site or other publication.

    The $1,000 fee should more than compensate you for the registration fees you have paid out, and we will take care of all transfer paperwork, with your assistance only where required.

    Obviously, such a resolution is preferable to litigation, which we will pursue only if this resolution is not acceptable to you. If you are agreeable to these terms, please let us know immediately, and we will begin preparation of the necessary paperwork.

    If, on the other hand, you are not agreeable to these terms, we will have no choice but to pursue the litigation.

    I remain hopeful that we are able to work this out.

    Very truly yours,
    Julie A. Greenberg

View the Original Letter (in a separate window)

I couldn't help but notice that, even in a friendly and conciliatory letter in which she offered me $1,000, Ms. Greenberg couldn't help but include a threat! At this point, I'm not sure that she can write a letter without one. Maybe it's some kind of problem with her word processor...

Next: I Accept Taubman's Offer

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