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Google Inc. is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it anymore-that is, from Leo Stoller, an Illinois man who has been demanding settlement payments from the Internet giant in a trademark dispute for using the word “Google.” The 60-year-old Stoller, it turns out, is a one-man demand machine. Through the years he has reportedly sought settlements from numerous companies for using the words “stealth,” “sentra,” “fable” and “trump.” Google recently sued Stoller for fraud, false advertising, unfair competition and racketeering, citing the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The suit also alleges that he demanded money from the Internet giant and threatened to bring about its “total destruction” unless it paid up. According to the suit, Stoller first entered Google’s radar in November 2005, when he requested more time from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to oppose one of Google’s many trademark applications. Stoller was able to file for such requests online and without paying a fee. Later that month, Google alleges it received a letter from Stoller with a letterhead reading, “Google Brand Products and Services . . . Since 1981.” The letter allegedly warned that beginning a legal proceeding on the issue would cost Google at least $150,000 and that Stoller would drop the claim if paid at least $100,000. The suit alleges that Stoller stepped up his threats in a February 2006 e-mail to the company, warning the company that if he went public, “Google’s stock won’t be worth $5 a share,” and the company’s “total destruction” would result. Stoller said he had legitimate standing to challenge Google’s trademark and denies he was trying to extort money from the company. He wouldn’t discuss whether he had sent threatening e-mails because “all the communication between Google and Stoller was confidential,” he said, referring to himself. According to the patent office, Stoller has tried to hold up more than 1,800 trademark applications since mid-2005 so he can send letters to the applicants accusing them of infringement and then demand money. A July report by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board limiting Stoller’s ability to request time extensions read: “You are holding up thousands of applications in an attempt to coerce applicants to license, i.e., ‘rent’ trademarks to which you have not demonstrated any proprietary right.” Of the board’s actions, Stoller said: “They did not review each extension as to what my rights actually were to each mark. The board merely scooped them all up into one basket and said this is excessive, and therefore they drew a false factual conclusion that I had done it for an improper purpose.” Jordan Weinstein, a partner at Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt in Alexandria, Va., who has represented clients who have sued Stoller in the past, said: “Mr. Stoller does not shy away from a courtroom battle.” Weinstein does not count Stoller out of a fight, even with Google. “He’ll just keep plugging.”

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