Terminated AdSense Publishers Can’t Get Their Accrued Earnings–eOnline v. Google

The plaintiffs are publishers that participated in the Google AdSense program. They outsourced much of their content development to a service called TextBroker that pays authors between 0.7 and 5 cents per word (i.e., a 1000 word article makes between…

Using Third Party Trademarks as Hashtags Creates an Implied Association--Align v. Strauss (Guest Blog Post)

Using Third Party Trademarks as Hashtags Creates an Implied Association–Align v. Strauss (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Alexandra Jane Roberts When does using a competitor’s trademark as a hashtag create a false impression of association? While plenty of cases have assessed whether a company’s use of competitors’ marks in its advertisements constitutes trademark infringement,…

New Essay: The Complicated Story of FOSTA and Section 230

New Essay: The Complicated Story of FOSTA and Section 230

I’m pleased to announce my essay, The Complicated Story of FOSTA and Section 230. This essay tries to simplify a very complicated set of topics and summarize it in a fairly short and readable piece. I hope this essay provides one-stop-shopping…

Court Says California’s Anti-Spam Statute Doesn’t Regulate Affiliate Networks–Bank v. Hydra

This judgment followed a bench trial in a case over three unwanted email messages. The case was originally filed in 2010! The plaintiff is a lawyer suing pro se. The defendant is Hydra Group, which operated an affiliate network. The…

Rounding Up Three Recent Keyword Advertising Cases–Comphy v. Amazon & More

Three interesting recent keyword advertising cases: Comphy Co. v. Amazon.com, Inc., 2019 WL 1128519 (W.D. Wash. March 12, 2019) Comphy makes high-end linens. It chooses not to sell directly on Amazon. Nevertheless, Amazon has purchased search engine keyword ads triggered…

More Kardashian Drama: A Legal Fight Over Ownership of the Kimoji Emoji Set--Liebensohn v. Kardashian (Guest Blog Post)

More Kardashian Drama: A Legal Fight Over Ownership of the Kimoji Emoji Set–Liebensohn v. Kardashian (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Gabriella Ziccarelli [Eric’s introductory note: I have made a personal life choice to ignore the entire Kardashian enterprise and their constant and often faux drama (except that I have occasionally mocked the Kardashians in my law school…

Do Adjacent Organic Search Results Constitute Trademark Infringement? Of Course Not...But...--America CAN! v. CDF

Do Adjacent Organic Search Results Constitute Trademark Infringement? Of Course Not…But…–America CAN! v. CDF

A charitable fundraising organization, America CAN!, has a registered trademark in the phrase “Write off the car, not the Kid.” The organization purports to help the education of high risk youths, and it claims that “100% of the net proceeds go…

Section 230 Preempts Unfair Competition Law Claim–Taylor v. Twitter

This is an extraordinary opinion. I can’t recall another opinion where the judge so candidly admits that he made both procedural and substantive mistakes. As troubling as those mistakes were, it actually gives me great confidence to see a judge…

Unhappy AdWords Advertiser’s Lawsuit Partially Survives Motion to Dismiss–Dreamstime v. Google

Dreamstime sells stock photos. It started running Google AdWords in 2004. In 2015, Google organic (?) referrals to Dreamstime “plummeted,” allegedly reducing its number of new customers by 30% in a year.  (The opinion isn’t crystal-clear that the traffic drop was…

Who Benefited from FOSTA? (Spoiler: Probably No One)

Who Benefited from FOSTA? (Spoiler: Probably No One)

This post rounds up some FOSTA-related links I’ve aggregated over the past few months. There is no good news here. The data points suggest that in FOSTA’s first 9 months, it apparently has failed all of its policy goals while…