Can Lawyers Buy Keyword Ads On Each Others' Names At Google? (Forbes Cross-Post)

Can Lawyers Buy Keyword Ads On Each Others’ Names At Google? (Forbes Cross-Post)

“Competitive keyword advertising” occurs when a company buys the trademarks of its competition as keywords for search engine marketing. In the 2000s, it was one of the most interesting and hotly-contested issues of Internet Law as trademark owners filed many…

Burlap Flower Wraps  Aren't Protectable Trade Dress--Farmgirl v. Bloom That

Burlap Flower Wraps Aren’t Protectable Trade Dress–Farmgirl v. Bloom That

Farmgirl sells flowers in San Francisco. It wraps its flower arrangements in recycled coffee burlap sacks. Here is an example I found on their website: Farmgirl spurred competition from Bloom That, which replicated Farmgirl’s use of recycled coffee burlap sacks…

More Section 230 Cases Than I Can Handle!

More Section 230 Cases Than I Can Handle!

My cup runneth over with Section 230 cases! This long blog post catches up on a few from the past couple months. Warning: there are some stinkers in this batch. Google, Inc. v. Hood, 2015 WL 1546160 (S.D. Miss. March…

Mixed Ruling in Competitive Keyword Advertising Case--Goldline v. Regal

Mixed Ruling in Competitive Keyword Advertising Case–Goldline v. Regal

The lawsuit’s principal participants are rivals in the precious metals and coin industry. The defendant organization, Regal, has an affiliate program, and it appears that some affiliates bought competitive keyword advertising using the plaintiff Goldline’s trademark. The ruling is on…

Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 5 (Trademarks, Domain Names, Marketing)

Q4 2014 & Q1 2015 Quick Links Part 5 (Trademarks, Domain Names, Marketing)

Trademarks and Domain Names * TheDomains: .Sucks Releases Pricing With “Premiums” For Trademark Holders Up To $2,499 A Year. A pox on the .sucks operator and on ICANN for permitting this pricing scheme. ICANN wants federal regulators to declare the…

Another Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails--Infogroup v. DatabaseLLC

Another Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails–Infogroup v. DatabaseLLC

The plaintiffs run several well-known databases, such as infoUSA and Salesgenie. The defendants are former employees of plaintiffs who split off and launched a competitive rival. The plaintiffs are upset that the defendants’ databases contain fake listings created by the…

Adware Advertiser Sidesteps Liability

Adware Advertiser Sidesteps Liability

This case involves a browser plug-in from IMS, whose affiliates allegedly surreptitiously installed the plug-in on users’ computers. The plug-in allegedly caused pop-up ads to appear when users visited designated websites. Reed Elsevier allegedly advertised via these pop-up ads, triggering…

Damages from Competitive Keyword Advertising Are "Vanishingly Small"

Damages from Competitive Keyword Advertising Are “Vanishingly Small”

Competitive keyword advertising lawsuits typically lose on their merits, but in this particular case, the defendants conceded that their AdWords campaign contributed to trademark infringement. Nevertheless, the defendants contested damages, and the court tells an oh-so-familiar story: Apparently, Defendants bid…

More Defendants Win Keyword Advertising Lawsuits

More Defendants Win Keyword Advertising Lawsuits

I’m reporting results in keyword advertising lawsuits as I see them. TL;DR: defendants keep winning. Two more rulings supporting that proposition: CollegeSource, Inc. v. AcademyOne, Inc., 2015 WL 469041 (3d Cir. Feb. 5, 2015). (some citations ommitted) See my blog…

Top 10 Internet Law Developments of 2014 (Forbes Cross-Post)

Top 10 Internet Law Developments of 2014 (Forbes Cross-Post)

It’s time for my annual recap of the top Internet Law developments of the year. #10: Copyright Fair Use Tilts To Defense. Larry Lessig has famously said that “fair use in America simply means the right to hire a lawyer…