Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Google Sues Leo Stoller's Companies for RICO violations

On January 19, 2007, Google, Inc. commenced a civil action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against several of Leo Stoller's companies, seeking injunctive relief, damages, attorney's fees, and costs, arising out of the "fraudulent scheme" of Defendants and "their alleged principal, Leo Stoller." According to the Complaint, the scheme involves "falsely claiming trademark rights for the purpose of harassing and attempting to extort money out of legitimate commercial actors, both large and small." (Complaint here).

Leo Stoller

The Complaint alleges that, as part of the scheme, Defendants targeted Plaintiff Google in "one of the some 1800 request for extension of time filed by Defendants with the TTAB since November 2005." The details of the ensuing interaction between Google and Defendants are set forth in paragraphs 33-44 of the Complaint.

The 25-page Complaint, accompanied by nearly 200 pages of exhibits, charges the Defendants with violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S. C. Sec. 1961 et. seq., of Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act, and of the law of unfair competition.

TTABlog Update: Leo Stoller responds here (link) that he "looks forward to defending this frivolous action being brought by Google Inc."

Text Copyright John L. Welch 2007.


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