Back in 2003 a 12th grader from Victoria, Canada, bought the domain name MikeRoweSoft.com and launched a website.
Mike Rowe, who was just 17 at that time, used the website as his own personal web design business page.
He thought that by adding “soft” to his name, he could create a funny play on words thanks to its phonetic similarities with Microsoft. Microsoft, on the other hand, thought otherwise. According to the software giant, the kid was violating their trademark rights, although Mike never claimed he was in any way affiliated with the corporate giant. The company sent the boy an e-mail offering him $10 for the domain name – the original fee he had to pay in order to get the domain. Mike got irritated by the offer, so he returned the e-mail with a counter demand of $10,000. He then received a 25 page long document containing a cease and desist order. The kid didn’t know what else to do but to tell the media that the company was about to sue him for trademark infringement he had never intended.
Shortly after his story went viral in January 2004, Microsoft and Mike settled things out of court. The company received the domain name, while the boy got an Xbox, a paid trip to the MS headquarters and a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network.