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…

More Evidence Why Keyword Advertising Litigation Is Waning

A venerable and classic Internet Law question: when a consumer uses a trademark as a search term, what are they looking for? If they are seeking the trademark owner–and only the trademark owner–then competitive keyword advertisers may encroach on the…

Plaintiffs' Law Firm Can Reference Targeted Business' Name In Ad Copy--McHugh Fuller v. Pruitt

Plaintiffs’ Law Firm Can Reference Targeted Business’ Name In Ad Copy–McHugh Fuller v. Pruitt

PruittHealth operates nursing homes in the Southeast. The McHugh Fuller law firm regularly sues nursing homes (their tagline: “Nursing Home Law…It’s What We Do”). To drum up business, in March 2015, it ran the following ad in the Moultrie, Georgia…

Court Rejects Effort to De-Index Search Results–Manchanda v. Google

Rahul Manchanda, an attorney, claims he was defamed in Ripoff Reports and elsewhere. In 2013, he obtained a restraining order against some of the authors in New York state court. Manchanda then sought to expand that order to restrain Ripoff…

Google Loses Two Section 230(c)(2) Rulings–Spy Phone v. Google and Darnaa v. Google

Section 230(c)(2) doesn’t get a lot of love from practitioners or academics because it doesn’t get a lot of love in court. At the motion to dismiss stage, plaintiffs often can get past a Section 230(c)(2) defense by alleging the…

Ad Network Defeats Secondary Copyright Claims–ALS Scan v. JuicyAds

The plaintiff is this case is well-known pornographer/litigator ALS Scan. Today’s case involves an ad network, Tiger Media, which runs the JuicyAds network catering to pornography websites. ALS Scan’s real targets are alleged “pirate Internet sites” with names like imghili.net;…