March 2007 Quick Links, Google Edition

By Eric Goldman

My monthly recap of interesting news items grew too big this month, so I’m breaking it into two postings. With so much attention directed towards Google, this first edition of March’s quick links will focus just on Google-related items.

* Google’s litigation counsel, Michael Kwun, gave a talk called “Keyword-Targeted Ads: The New Trademark War” at SMU in late February. His slides. I trust it is clear that these slides aren’t intended to be a neutral description of the law!

* Google won a case in Belgium over Google Suggest, a feature that automatically suggests search terms as searchers type their query into the search box. In this case, the plainitff was a software vendor upset that the suggested search terms prompted users to find cracked versions of its software. See InfoWorld, Techdirt and Search Engine Land writeups.

* Matim Li v. Crazy Line (Tel Aviv District Court July 31, 2006). I normally don’t blog on foreign trademark keyword cases but I finally got my hands on an English translation for this case. It’s a nice win for Google and it has some interesting discussion.

* At Santa Clara University School of Law in January, we had a panel on the Perfect 10 v. Google case featuring Prof. Justin Hughes of Cardozo, Andrew Bridges of Winston & Strawn, Russ Frackman of Mitchell Silberberg, Fred von Lohmann of EFF and Prof. Tyler Ochoa of SCU. This turned into a major copyright geekfest! Watch the video (free registration required).

* For a while, Ask.com searchers using the search term “Google” got the following result: “”Don’t be a droid — use different sources of information” next to a drawing of a man on puppet strings and a link to Ask.com’s anti-Google Web site. Nice…

* Eric Schmidt of Google: “I think the most important characteristic of an entrepeneur is that they’re going to do it whether you give them permission or not.” A dangerous quote when you’re in the middle of numerous IP lawsuits! HT Search Engine Land.

* BusinessWeek: Is Google Too Powerful?

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