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Habeas sues haiku abusers

Allegations of counterfeit and spamming

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Habeas, the company that fights spam with poetry and the law, filed lawsuits yesterday against five entities which "improperly" used the Habeas trademark to get their email past spam filters.

The first suit, against Avalend and Intermark Media, alleges infringement of the Habeas trademark in attempts to get junk mail delivered. The second lawsuit, against Dale Heller, Stan Stuchinski (BigDogSecrets.com), Clickbank and Keynetics, covers a breach of contract claim against Heller, a Habeas licensee.

The companies advertised in Heller's email, which did not comply with the Habeas license, and are named as co-defendants.

"As we have promised since we first launched, we will sue any individual or organization who abuses our trademark in order to send unwanted mail," said Anne P. Mitchell, president and CEO of Habeas.

Habeas offers a legal and user-based service, designed to help eradicate spam by identifying that email which is known to be genuine correspondence.

Its patent-pending Sender Warranted Email service works by trade marking and copyrighting a unique set of lines, known as the warrant mark, which is embedded in the headers of outgoing email. Included in the Habeas lines is a haiku, a 17-syllable Japanese poem.

Copyright offers legal protection to the poetry. Trademark offers legal protection to other parts of the email header.

Habeas has vowed that "spammers who counterfeit the Habeas warrant mark can be shut down and prosecuted for $1 million and more". Now we'll see how effective a deterrence this threat turns out to be.

"Mortgage and Affiliate Program spammers are among the most prolific sources of junk mail sent to our users," said Suresh Ramasubramanian, the postmaster and abuse desk manager at Outblaze, a Hong Kong-based outsourcer for large email service providers and Habeas customer. "Habeas has always said that they would sue anyone attempting to misuse or falsify Habeas SWE headers in order to get past spam filters. As a leading provider of outsourced e-mail, Outblaze strongly supports Habeas in their anti-spam efforts."

Launched in August 2002, Habeas states its service is used in more than 100 countries to protect more than 300 million email addresses. ®

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Habeas Sues Haiku Abusers

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