December 7, 2001
Subject: Taubman and the new Shops At Willow Bend mall...
As a Dallas community resident I believe it is up to each of us to keep an eye on Texas. Things
that may affect one individual may eventually affect many individuals. Such is the reason I am
emailing this note to you.
During some recent travels within the Metroplex I noticed a new shopping mall being built in
Plano. As it turns out, this new mall is known as Shops At Willow Bend and is owned by Taubman
Centers (http://www.taubman.com/) which is a
Michigan-based corporation. This company was founded by
Alfred Taubman, Sotheby's former chairman. Yes, this is the same person who was recently found
guilty in the commission-fixing scandal of the art-selling industry.
Anyway, in looking around on the web to find out what sort of stores this new mall would have I
ran across a very nice website (http://www.shopsatwillowbend.com/) which was operated by Hank
Mishkoff in Carrollton. The site was very well structured and very informative about what the mall
was going to be about. Later, when I tried to go back to it, it wasn't there. I've since learned
that Taubman Centers, via their law firm, has managed to get that site closed down saying that the
URL violated their client's trademarks. While this has not actually been ruled on yet, the
preliminary injunction forced the site to be closed.
The law firm and Taubman, are in Michigan, and they're suing Mishkoff in a Michigan court over a
website that was homed and based in Dallas and provided information about a mall that will be here
in Dallas. I'm no lawyer, but rather than ask him to remove it, they threatened lawsuit and filed
with a Michigan judge before anyone could do anything about it. Wisely or unwisely as it may be,
Mishkoff is defending himself in this case because he can t afford to hire his own lawyer, and since
he's a significant distance away from the actual court, traveling regularly to that location is not
likely to be within his means.
In response to the injunction, and to continue to keep the Dallas residents informed about the
lawsuit and the future of his information site, he created www.taubmansucks.com which, by looking at
the "sucks.com" registrations, is not an uncommon action. That website has been providing
information on the court case, what motions have been filed, etc. It has since turned into a debacle
of a lawsuit that has nothing to do with the original complaint of the trademark violation. At this
time, the lawyers have been able to shut down all means by which Mr. Mishkoff was keeping his fellow
So in the end what you have is a Dallas resident who was trying to help his community by
providing information about a new mall being built near Plano but is now being sued in a Michigan
court by a Michigan company with Michigan lawyers over a website that no longer exists. Something
doesn't seem right here.
I am not involved with, nor do I personally know, Hank Mishkoff or Taubman Centers. I am simply a
Dallas resident (Lewisville actually) who is watching a Michigan company pick on, and attempt to
silence, one of my Dallas neighbors. Perhaps the ITeam can help.