V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai this week sued Techdirt, a techie Web site, for slander for two years of articles repeatedly denouncing Ayyadurai's claims to have invented e-mail as a teenager in New Jersey in 1978.
In his lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Ayyadurai claims the articles, laced with phrases such as "complete bullshit" and "outright false claim," are ruining him:
As a direct result of Defendants' publication of the false and defamatory statements about Dr. Ayyadurai, Dr. Ayyadurai lost contracts and renewals, lost opportunities for investment in his emerging companies, suffered substantial personal and professional reputational harm and suffered substantial harm to his career, business and income.
He claims he's owed at least $15 million - plus punitive damages - for the harm he's suffered.
Last year, Ayyadurai sued Gawker over similar articles.
Former Gawker owner Nick Denton settled with Ayyadurai for $750,000 and the site's new owners promptly pulled the offending articles, but Ayyadurai's suit against Gawker and Gawker writers continues, also in US District Court in Boston.
Ayyadurai's lawyer is Charles Harder, who was paid by Silicon Valley guy Peter Thiel to try to sue Gawker into oblivion over the Hulk Hogan sex video.
Many Internet pioneers credit Ray Tomlinson, at the time an engineer for Cambridge-based Bolt, Beranek and Newman, with writing the first e-mail application in 1971, and note that even Queen Elizabeth II had sent e-mail before Ayyadurai wrote his own e-mail application as a 14-year-old in 1978.