Some Comments on the CA/TX Attorneys’ General Prosecution of Backpage’s Executives

By now I’m sure you’ve heard that California Attorney General Kamala Harris is prosecuting three Backpage executives for pimping/conspiracy to pimp. This is the latest–and perhaps last–development in a decade-long effort by legislators, state AGs and local prosecutors to shut…

Federal Court Rejects Online Gambling Lawsuit Against Valve--McLeod v. Valve

Federal Court Rejects Online Gambling Lawsuit Against Valve–McLeod v. Valve

This lawsuit alleged that Valve “allowed an illegal online gambling market” based on its videogame Counter Strike Global Offensive (CSGO) and its Steam platform, an online marketplace where players can buy and sell virtual items and make payments. This lawsuit…

Does the FTC Get a Free Pass From Section 230?–FTC v. LeadClick

I’ve often joked that the FTC and state AGs choose to live in a fantasy world where Section 230 doesn’t exist. A new ruling from the Second Circuit has turned my joke on its ear, suggesting that my underlying fears–of…

Court Dumps Crappy Trademark & Keyword Ad Case--ONEPul v. BagSpot

Court Dumps Crappy Trademark & Keyword Ad Case–ONEPul v. BagSpot

It’s a highlight of my day to read an opinion that starts out: the litigants “are competitors in the dog waste disposal industry.” Blogging can be a crappy gig, but someone’s gotta do it. The litigants have competing offerings that…

Anti-Robocall Statute Violates First Amendment--Gresham v. Rutledge

Anti-Robocall Statute Violates First Amendment–Gresham v. Rutledge

Arkansas has a statute that prohibits: use a telephone for the purpose of offering any goods or services for sale, or for conveying information regarding any goods or services for the purpose of soliciting the sale or purchase of the…

AdWords Buys Using Geographic Terms Support Personal Jurisdiction–Rilley v. MoneyMutual

This is a personal jurisdiction case, so I’ll get right to the point. If an AdWords advertiser buys keywords that contain geographic terms, the advertiser might face a greater risk of personal jurisdiction in those geographies. It’s likely that buying…

Talk on Trends in Online Trademark and Marketing Law

In April, I gave a talk in Israel at an inaugural event to celebrate the life and work of Avron Gabrieli, one of Israel’s most venerable and well-known IP lawyers who died in 2015. Initially, the talk topic was styled…

FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts For Restricting Competitive Keyword Advertising

FTC Sues 1-800 Contacts For Restricting Competitive Keyword Advertising

For over a decade, I’ve blogged about 1-800 Contacts’ campaign to suppress competitive keyword advertising, including its legislative games (e.g., those times when 1-800 Contacts asked the Utah legislature to ban competitive keyword advertising) and at least 15 lawsuits against…

Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Will Go To A Jury--Edible Arrangements v. Provide Commerce

Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Will Go To A Jury–Edible Arrangements v. Provide Commerce

The parties compete in the “chocolate and fruit-based gift packages” market. Provide bought competitive keywords that used the plaintiff’s trademark, including the keywords “edible arrangements,” “edible arrangements locations,” “edible arrangements coupons,” “edible arrangements promotional code,” “edible arrangements bouquet,” “edible arrangements…

Texas Ethics Opinion Approves Competitive Keyword Ads By Lawyers

The Texas State Bar’s Professional Ethics Committee has issued Ethics Opinion #661 approving lawyers’ use of competitive keyword advertising. The opinion concludes: A lawyer does not violate the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct by simply using the name of…