Restricting Competitive Keyword Ads Is Anti-Competitive--FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

Restricting Competitive Keyword Ads Is Anti-Competitive–FTC v. 1-800 Contacts

Starting in 2002 and continuing for about a decade, 1-800 Contacts systematically locked up many of its online contact lenses retail competitors into settlement agreements that prohibited the parties from bidding on each other’s trademarks at the search engines. Perhaps…

Another Failed Trademark Suit Over Competitive Keyword Advertising--JIVE v. Wine Racks America

Another Failed Trademark Suit Over Competitive Keyword Advertising–JIVE v. Wine Racks America

The parties compete in the wine rack/wine cellar business. The defendant bought the plaintiff’s trademarks for keyword ads. The plaintiff alleges this creates initial interest confusion. The 10th Circuit’s Lens.com ruling governs this case. The court says that case makes…

Negative Keywords Help Defeat Preliminary Injunction–DealDash v. ContextLogic

DealDash and Wish are e-commerce vendors. For a while, Wish offered a service called “Deal Dash” for time-limited bargains. Immediately after DealDash sued, Wish renamed its service “Bargain Blitz” and pulled the “DealDash” term from all advertising. DealDash still pressed…

The Florida Bar and Competitive Keyword Advertising: A Tragicomedy (in 3 Parts)

The Florida Bar and Competitive Keyword Advertising: A Tragicomedy (in 3 Parts)

In the late 2000s, keyword advertising was one of Internet Law’s hottest topics. Now, not so much. Relatively few lawsuits are filed; they rarely last long in court; and most trademark owners have moved on. But in the Florida Bar,…

Advertiser's Suit Against Google Loses for Third (and Final) Time--Abid v. Google

Advertiser’s Suit Against Google Loses for Third (and Final) Time–Abid v. Google

I previously described this case: “Abid markets cancer-curing honey. He bought AdWords to promote his MightyHoney website. Google rejected the ads.” The court has dismissed this pro se lawsuit twice already, each time without prejudice. Prior blog posts from April…

Unlinked Webpage Doesn't Support Trademark Infringement--Nelson-Ricks v. Lakeview

Unlinked Webpage Doesn’t Support Trademark Infringement–Nelson-Ricks v. Lakeview

A now-defunct cheese company owned two brands, “Banquet” and “Nelson Ricks Creamery.” The defendant bought the Banquet brand and associated website, plus it got a limited license to use the Nelson Ricks Creamery brand. The plaintiff bought the Nelson Ricks…

Lawsuit Over Cancer-Curing Honey Ads Still Sucks--Abid v. Google

Lawsuit Over Cancer-Curing Honey Ads Still Sucks–Abid v. Google

Abid markets cancer-curing honey. He bought AdWords to promote his MightyHoney website. Google rejected the ads. He sued Google pro se for a variety of claims. The court previously granted Google’s motion to dismiss with leave to amend. My prior…

The Ninth Circuit STILL Thinks Keyword Metatags Matter in 2018--Adidas v. Skechers

The Ninth Circuit STILL Thinks Keyword Metatags Matter in 2018–Adidas v. Skechers

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit ruled about trademarked stripes on tennis shoes. To me, legally weaponizing dots in three lines on a shoe predictably leads to wasteful and possibly anti-consumer litigation. However, instead of critiquing the opinion generally, I’ll isolate just…

Another Court Says Competitive Keyword Advertising Doesn't Cause Confusion

Another Court Says Competitive Keyword Advertising Doesn’t Cause Confusion

This is a lawsuit between two Alzheimer’s-related non-profit organizations, the Alzheimer’s Association (the more established and better-funded group) and the Alzheimer’s Foundation (the relative upstart). I blogged a prior 2015 ruling. The potential for brand collisions in consumers’ minds seems…

Competitive Keyword Advertising Doesn't Show Bad Intent--ONEpul v. BagSpot

Competitive Keyword Advertising Doesn’t Show Bad Intent–ONEpul v. BagSpot

This case involves dispensers of plastic bags for picking up dogshit. The plaintiff has a registered trademark in the brand “ONEpul.” The defendant describes its bags as “one-pull” (and yet, the term “descriptive fair use” doesn’t appear in the opinion…