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Trademark trials: Leo Stoller's terrible 2006

jokestress (837997) writes | more than 7 years ago

The Media

jokestress writes "Remember Leo Stoller? He's the "intellectual property entrepreneur" who threatened to sue anyone who allegedly infringed his "famous trademarks," especially the word "stealth." Since the last /. article on Stoller, Leo hasn't had the best time of it, so here's a recap of his illustrious career, culminating with a $969,000 judgment against him last month:

  • Charged and fined in illegal fund solicitations for 9/11 victims (charities he listed said they never got any money).
  • Lost a trademark case where he claimed software maker Centra 2000(TM) infringed his "Sentra" trademark. Stoller filed corporate bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying after losing.
  • Got a smackdown from Columbia Pictures after threatening to sue them over the title of their film Stealth.
  • Sued Hall-of-Famer George Brett for selling a Stealth(TM) brand baseball bat. The judge found for Brett's company and cancelled Stoller's trademark registration in that category.
  • In 2006, the US Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board sanctioned Stoller for filing 1,100 extension requests in 5 months for trademarks he was opposing. He can't file any more for two years.
  • The real legal beatdown came at the hands of Pure Fishing, Inc., maker of Spiderwire® Stealth(TM) and other Stealth(TM) brand fishing gear. Stoller went after them and they fought back. Hard.
  • Before a final judgment could be entered, Stoller again declared bankruptcy under Chapter 13, which had an automatic stay on all litigation. Pure Fishing filed a claim in the case and requested the corporate bankruptcy be converted from reorganization to Chapter 7 (liquidation of all Stoller's assets, corporate and personal).
  • The bankruptcy judge found that Stoller's Chapter 13 filing contained bogus information and unreported assets, so he not only approved the liquidation, but found that Stoller's personal assets and corporate assets were one and the same.
  • The trustee appointed to liquidate Stoller's assets was granted additional authority to act as sole shareholder of Stoller's many corporate entities, and he promptly began settling all outstanding trademark litigation, including Stoller's claim that he owned the trademark "Google" for a brand of exercise balls.
  • The court cancelled 44 of Stoller's existing and pending "Stealth" trademarks on October 4.
  • On December 12, the court awarded Pure Fishing over $969,000, affirming the statement that Stoller and companies were vexatious litigants.
Pure Fishing's legal team put up a page with key legal documents for those who want to see how this all played out. The document that gives in-depth analysis of Stoller's modus operandi is Judge Jack B. Schmetterer's thoroughly-researched findings and conclusions in the Stoller bankruptcy decision.

Stay tuned for more Leo Stoller(TM) Adventures® in © 2007!"

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