America Online was a bulletin board system in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 1980's run by Rocky Rawlins. It was probably the largest BBS in town at the time, three nodes using some version of PCBoard. About this time this other guys, one of them named Steve Case, decided to start a small online service by the same name.

They ran into a problem though. See, Rocky had trademarked the name.

So Case and his buddies coughed up some cash for the name. Rocky never said how much bank he made from this deal, but his BBS expanded to over twenty nodes so one can only assume it was a lot.

Looking back on it now, Rocky should have asked for 1 percent of ownership of AOL. Just think of what that would be worth...

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