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Act 4: Taubman Ignores My Request

On July 5, 2001, Ms. Greenberg sent me a response to my letter. At least, it was a "response" in the sense that I sent her a letter, and she sent me a letter back. But she was completely unresponsive to the heart of my letter, which was a request that she "steer me to the relevant sections of the laws that you believe I'm violating." If she could do that, I had said, I would surrender the domain name to her client. And this matter would have been behind us. (And you wouldn't be reading this.)

Anyway, this was Ms. Greenberg's response.

Dear Mr. Mishkoff:

We are in receipt of your correspondence dated May 24, 2001.

Unfortunately, your concurrent use of our client's federally registered mark in connection with distributing information and other services pertaining to our client's mall is likely to create the impression that it is sponsored by, affiliated with, or somehow related to the mall. This erroneous impression is the very confusion against which federal trademark law protects.

We hereby reiterate our demand that you immediately discontinue all use of this, and any other domain name or trademark incorporating the mark SHOPS AT WILLOW BEND, or other similar marks, and assist us in arranging for the transfer of the domain names to our client.

Our client is willing to prepare the necessary documentation for the transfer(s), and to reimburse you for your registration fee, if applicable.

However, if we are faced to obtain relief through legal action in federal court, we will seek all available remedies.

Please contact us immediately to confirm your intentions.

Sincerely yours,
Julie A. Greenberg

View the Original Letter (in a separate window)

As you may have noticed, instead of letting me know exactly what I was doing wrong, Ms. Greenberg merely paraphrased the generalities from her first letter and restated her threat of legal action...

But wait: She also offered to refund my domain registration fee!

As you can imagine, I was awfully excited by the opportunity to snag a quick $35. However, I took a couple of deep breaths, forced myself to calm down, and reflected on the situation a little more.

And what I thought was: Why is she threatening me again? And why didn't she answer my question? Could it be that she doesn't have an answer to my question? Was it possible that I wasn't actually breaking any laws, and that Ms. Greenberg knew that I wasn't breaking any laws, but that she decided to threaten me with legal action anyway, hoping that I'd give up my domain name rather than face a lawsuit?

Gee, would a lawyer really do something nasty like that?

Next: Again, I Ask Taubman for Details

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