Google AdWords Litigation Updates–Google Adds One Lawsuit and Ends Another

By Eric Goldman

It’s been a little quiet on the Google AdWords trademark litigation front in the past couple of months, so it’s timely to check in on the situation.

Jurin v. Google, Inc., 2:09-at-01695 (E.D. Cal. complaint filed Oct. 22, 2009)

You may recall Daniel Jurin, who claims ownership in the trademark “styrotrim” (a type of building exterior covering). In June, he sued Google for trademark infringement and related claims as part of the spate of lawsuits filed after Google changed its trademark policies in May. Then, less than 2 months later, he voluntarily dismissed the lawsuit after having parting ways with his attorneys. I figured losing his attorney would spell the end of Jurin’s quest, but no! Breaking a two month dry spell in new Google AdWords lawsuits (the last being Flowbee in mid-August), Jurin has found a new attorney, Paul Bartleson, and has decided to tangle with the tiger once again. Welcome back to the party!

It appears that Jurin had to cast a pretty wide net to find a substitute attorney. Paul’s website says for the past 19 years he “has focused almost exclusively on Bankruptcy matters,” and his LinkedIn page says he is “also an entrepreneur and business development consultant in a business that teachers leadership, values and relationship skills, while capitalizing on the wealth building potential of the internet.” Huh? Not sure what that means, but could this lawsuit be an example of their “wealth building” prowess???

The complaint itself doesn’t break any new ground. It’s fairly internally redundant, and the narrative appears to conflate paid ads with organic listings fairly freely (while ironically complaining that Google confuses ads and organic results).

Soaring Helmet Corp. v. Bill Me Inc., 2:2009cv00789 (W.D. Wash. voluntarily dismissed Oct. 15, 2009)

In an unpublicized move, Soaring Helmet voluntarily dismissed Google from its trademark lawsuit against Bill Me last week. Even with Google out of the picture, the trademark owner v. advertiser lawsuit appears to be going strong. My initial blog post on that lawsuit.

Rosetta Stone v. Google

A month ago, Rosetta Stone’s lawsuit largely survived Google’s 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss. In a non-substantive opinion, the court tossed out the false endorsement and conspiracy claims but left the remainder intact.

Google v. John Beck Amazing Profits

In mid-September, Google voluntarily dismissed its declaratory judgment action trying to wrest the John Beck v. Google lawsuit venue out of Texas. This dismissal does not appear to have affected the original John Beck v. Google case, nor did it succeed in affecting venue.

The roster of pending AdWords cases:

* Ezzo v. Google

* Rescuecom v. Google

* FPX v. Google

* John Beck Amazing Profits v. Google and the companion Google v. John Beck Amazing Profits

* Stratton Faxon v. Google (not initially a trademark case)

* Soaring Helmet v. Bill Me

* Ascentive v. Google

* Jurin v. Google 1.0 (voluntarily dismissed), succeeded by Jurin v. Google 2.0

* Rosetta Stone v. Google

* Flowbee v. Google