Stratton Faxon v. Google Dismissed

By Eric Goldman

Stratton Faxon v. Google, Inc., NNH-CV-09-5031219S (Conn. Superior Ct. dismissed March 8, 2010)

Stratton Faxon v. Google was always an oddball case in the constellation of trademark owner challenges to Google AdWords. First, the plaintiff–a law firm that woke up one day in 2009 and discovered competitive keyword advertising–didn’t allege trademark infringement but instead took an unusual and questionable legal path. Second, the case was filed in state court, not federal court, which made the case much more difficult to track than cases in federal court.

These oddities are now irrelevant. The court issued a “motion for judgment” on March 8 granting a motion brought by Google to dismiss the case. I haven’t seen any of the underlying motions, but the net effect is that the case is closed.

However, the case may not be over. In my prior email exchanges with Stratton Faxon, they indicated that they may refile in federal court. So we’ll see if this case resurrects itself.

Combined with Rescuecom giving up, Google has now whittled its pending AdWords challenges down to 8 pending cases. Furthermore, the Utah legislature has adjourned for the year without banning Google’s cash cow again. In the world of Google’s legal affairs, these two developments qualify as good news! Next stop: the ECJ’s opinion addressing Google’s trademark liability in the EU, expected one week from today.

The roster of pending AdWords cases (I most recently thoroughly double-checked the status of these cases on February 20, 2010):

* 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

* 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

* Parts Geek v. US Auto Parts

* Dazzlesmile v. Epic