AOL: You've got a potential lawsuit

DENVER -- America Online Inc. hasdemanded a Denver-area author to stop selling her advice book"You've Got Male" because the title sounds too much like theInternet company's well known phrase "You've Got Mail," aspokesman said on Wednesday.

DENVER -- America Online Inc. has demanded a Denver-area author to stop selling her advice book "You've Got Male" because the title sounds too much like the Internet company's well known phrase "You've Got Mail," a spokesman said on Wednesday.

But first-time, self-published author Madelene Sabol said she had no intention of bowing. "I'm going to stick to my guns," Sabol said. The phrase "You've Got Mail" is used by AOL (NYSE:AOL) to tell users that they have received e-mail.

Cease and desist letter
Sabol has sold about 300 books on Internet dating -- she recommends asking for recent pictures -- out of a first printing of 2,000.


'This is routine. When we see our trademark being used we take action. We believe when people hear that phrase they think of AOL.'
-- AOL spokesman Jim Whitney

She was prompted to write the book on Internet relationships after she had a devastating experience. A man with whom she had been exchanging e-mails told her on their first meeting that she was too fat, she said.

AOL sent Sabol a cease and desist letter, telling her to stop selling the book and not do a second printing, company spokesman Jim Whitney said. This past August, however, AT&T Corp. won the go-ahead from a U.S. court to use slogans and service names popularized by AOL.

"This is routine. When we see our trademark being used we take action," he said. "We believe when people hear that phrase they think of AOL," he said.

Whitney said the company had several options, including filing a lawsuit. Sabol told Reuters that AOL lawyers told her lawyer that they would sue if she did not stop selling the book.

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