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15 Year Trademark Lawsuit

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Posted 1st July 2013 at 08:54 AM by kindsvater

Too many webmasters, especially Internet Marketers, blow-off trademark issues. Usually, this is because they have personally not been dragged through the courts. If you are in this category then the following story may finally catch your attention.

An online entrepreneur recently sought legal assistance from my office. I turned him down, but his story is significant.

15 years ago he was sued for trademark infringement due to one of his websites. He lost the case. The final judgment against him was about $650,000 in damages and another $600,000 in attorney's fees.

He declared bankruptcy. The bankruptcy court, however, ruled the judgment was not dischargeable. There is a common myth bankruptcy can be used to eliminate any debt. Not so. If you act intentionally (registering a domain and creating a website is not accidentally done) bankruptcy court may not be a safe refuge.

Now, 15 years later, still broke he continues to be hounded by the trademark owner. Every time he tries to create a new business, and every time he registers a new website, as soon as the trademark owner finds out he goes and seizes it to pay off the now $1.6M that is owed.

Keep in mind the judgment grows not only from interest, but collection costs are added on as well. As a result what this guy pays effectively never reduces the amount owed.

Judgments in California last 10 years, but can be renewed each decade. Effectively, this guy will have this hanging around his head for the rest of his life.

Any job he takes subjects his wages to garnishment. Any new online venture is quickly squashed and seized.

The emotional toll has been enormous.

So ask yourself ... is it really worth it to chase a couple bucks by engaging in trademark infringement?

You can help protect yourself from legal claims, including trademark infringement, at the Internet Marketing Law Center.

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  1. New Comment
    GeorgR.'s Avatar
    This sounds like an absolute nightmare!
    Posted 1st July 2013 at 09:12 AM by GeorgR. GeorgR. is offline

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