FTC Explains Why It Thinks 1-800 Contacts' Keyword Ad Settlements Were Anti-Competitive--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

FTC Explains Why It Thinks 1-800 Contacts’ Keyword Ad Settlements Were Anti-Competitive–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

As you may recall, the FTC is pursuing 1-800 Contacts for antitrust violations based on 1-800 Contacts having sued and then settled with competitors who bought keyword ads on 1-800 Contacts’ trademarks. Recently, the FTC filed its “Complaint Counsel’s Corrected…

Trademark Lawsuit Claiming Organic Search Results Create Initial Interest Confusion Falls Apart–Larsen v. Larson

Disclosure note: I provided an expert report in this now-dismissed case, so you might consider my comments to be advocacy. I’ll explain my expert role in a bit. The Court Opinion Susan Larsen practices business law in the Denver, Colorado…

Does “Raiders Fancast” Infringe the “Fancaster” Trademark?

I don’t normally blog demand letters, but this particular matter would benefit from additional visibility. Over 5 years ago, I blogged a lawsuit involving the Fancaster trademark, which I characterized as “the saddest trademark case of 2011.” Among other rulings,…

Your Periodic Reminder That Initial Interest Confusion Lawsuits Are Stupid--Epic v. YourCareUniverse

Your Periodic Reminder That Initial Interest Confusion Lawsuits Are Stupid–Epic v. YourCareUniverse

The plaintiff has a registered trademark for “CARE EVERYWHERE” for B2B healthcare software. The defendant, YourCareUniverse, also makes healthcare software. It extended its brand to include “YOURCAREEVERYWHERE” and launched a public-facing patient healthcare portal under the extended brand. The plaintiff…

Trademark Owner's Bubble Bursts In Lawsuit Over Soap--Bubble Genius v. Just Bubbly

Trademark Owner’s Bubble Bursts In Lawsuit Over Soap–Bubble Genius v. Just Bubbly

FFS, even bathtime isn’t a litigation-free zone any more. This case involves rival makers of soap themed on the periodic table of the elements. My screenshot of the plaintiff’s offerings: As the court says, the plaintiff’s unregistered (alleged) trade dress…

University Rejection of Students' Marijuana-Themed T-Shirt Violates First Amendment--Gerlich v. Leath

University Rejection of Students’ Marijuana-Themed T-Shirt Violates First Amendment–Gerlich v. Leath

Iowa State (ISU) officially recognizes a student chapter for NORML, a marijuana advocacy group. All ISU student groups can use ISU trademarks on merchandise if they comply with the “Guidelines for University Trademark Use by Student and Campus Organizations,” as…

Amazon Defeats Lawsuit Over Its Keyword Ad Purchases–Lasoff v. Amazon

Lasoff owns Ingrass, which makes artificial turf. He claims he’s losing business to “cheaper, counterfeit” versions of Ingrass. (The opinion uses the term “counterfeit,” though it probably means knockoffs). He objects to the fact that Amazon runs keyword ads for…

Actress in Viral Video Can't Prevent Video From Being Made Into an Advertisement--Roberts v. Bliss

Actress in Viral Video Can’t Prevent Video From Being Made Into an Advertisement–Roberts v. Bliss

Bliss produced a viral video called “10 Hours Walking in NYC as a Woman” featuring actress Shoshana Roberts. You probably saw this video when it came out; it has been viewed over 40M times. The video shows how random strangers…

2H 2016 Quick Links, Part 4 (Counterfeits and Olympics)

“Counterfeits” * Gucci v. Alibaba, Case 1:15-cv-03784-PKC (SDNY Aug. 4, 2016) (cites omitted): Plaintiffs have failed to plausibly allege that the Merchant Defendants engaged in anything but independent conduct, without coordination and for their own economic self-interest. Indeed, the Merchant…

2H 2016 Quick Links, Part 3 (Trademarks and Domain Names)

Trademarks * Evoqua Water Technologies LLC v. M.W. Watermark LLC, 2016 WL 4727432 (W.D. Mich. Sept. 12, 2016) Paragraph 1 of the injunction prohibits the use of marks beginning with “J-,” except pursuant to a fair use. Watermark argues that…