Top Internet Law Developments of 2017 (Very Late)

Top Internet Law Developments of 2017 (Very Late)

[It’s a sign of my busy 2018 that I’m only now posting my annual Internet Law year-in-review recap. Better late than never?] 2017 was a generally OK year for me personally. My wife’s health has been stable, I was able…

Search Engines Aren’t Liable for Indexing ‘Scam’ Locksmith Listings–Baldino’s Lock v. Google

[It’s impossible to blog about Section 230 without reminding you that it remains highly imperiled.] The plaintiff in this case, Baldino’s Lock & Key, brought a very similar lawsuit in 2014. It alleged that Google indexed scam locksmiths and allowed them…

Interesting Tidbits From FTC's Antitrust Win Against 1-800 Contacts' Keyword Ad Restrictions

Interesting Tidbits From FTC’s Antitrust Win Against 1-800 Contacts’ Keyword Ad Restrictions

Over the course of about a decade starting in 2004, 1-800 Contacts entered into over a dozen settlement agreements with competitors, most of which mutually restricted both parties from buying keyword ads triggered to their competitor’s trademarks and sometimes requiring…

US Court Protects Google From Canadian Court's Delisting Order--Google v. Equustek

US Court Protects Google From Canadian Court’s Delisting Order–Google v. Equustek

[It’s impossible to blog about Section 230 without reminding you that it remains highly imperiled.] Datalink allegedly misappropriated Equustek’s trade secrets to develop competitive products. Equustek sued Datalink in Canadian courts and obtained various court orders. The Datalink principal fled Canada…

White-on-White Trademark Usage Might Constitute Initial Interest Confusion–Agdia v. Xia

Are we really litigating trademark references in white-on-white text in 2017??? Yes, we are, and yes, the whole case is a throwback to the mid-2000s (e.g., the 2008 Venture Tape case)–with effects that would be comical if they weren’t so…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 5 (Advertising, Contracts)

Advertising * David A. Hyman et al, Going Native: Can Consumers Recognize Native Advertising? Does It Matter?, 19 Yale J.L. & Tech. 77 (2017): “We tested sixteen examples of native advertising. For fifteen of the sixteen examples, fewer than 50% of…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 3 (Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb)

Google * Bloomberg: Google Now Scrubbing Private Medical Records From Search Results * Search Engine Land: A deep look at Google’s biggest-ever search quality crisis * Search Engine Land: Google launches new effort to flag upsetting or offensive content in…

1H 2017 Quick Links, Part 1 (Trademarks, Keyword Ads)

Trademark * Viacom Int’l Inc v. IJR Capital Investments LLC, 2017 WL 107141 (S.D. Tex. Jan. 11, 2017): “Because “The Krusty Krab” is a recurring element of the “SpongeBob SquarePants” show, the court finds that the mark is eligible for…

Section 230 Protects Google's Decision Not To De-Index Content--Bennett v. Google

Section 230 Protects Google’s Decision Not To De-Index Content–Bennett v. Google

Dawn J. Bennett was a financial advisor in major trouble with the SEC. She also has a sporting apparel company. She hired an SEO, Pierson, to improve the search engine indexing of her website. After a payment dispute, Pierson posted…

Frequency of Courts' References to Emojis and Emoticons Over Time

Frequency of Courts’ References to Emojis and Emoticons Over Time

[This is another excerpt from my Emojis and the Law paper.] In preparing the article, I gathered a dataset of all cases I could find in Westlaw and Lexis containing the word “emoticon” or “emoji.” This dataset is subject to…