Your Periodic Reminder That Keyword Ad Lawsuits Are Stupid--Passport Health v. Avance

Your Periodic Reminder That Keyword Ad Lawsuits Are Stupid–Passport Health v. Avance

The parties compete for the provision of health services related to traveling, like immunizations. The defendant Avance bought keyword ads triggered on the plaintiff’s trademark “Passport Health.” In 2013, the trademark owner complained, and Avance apparently dropped the Google ad…

If Your Trademark Case Depends on Showing Initial Interest Confusion, Save Your Money--Select Comfort v. John Baxter

If Your Trademark Case Depends on Showing Initial Interest Confusion, Save Your Money–Select Comfort v. John Baxter

I’ve bashed the initial interest confusion doctrine for decades. It’s one of the worst doctrinal “innovations” in trademark law–ever. However, you might have noticed that I haven’t blogged many initial interest confusion cases recently. Why? Because the phrase rarely shows…

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…

Section 230 Helps Malware Vendor Avoid Liability for Blocking Decision--PC Drivers v. Malwarebytes

Section 230 Helps Malware Vendor Avoid Liability for Blocking Decision–PC Drivers v. Malwarebytes

We rarely see cases like this any more, so I think it’s worth blogging this April ruling even though it just showed up in Westlaw. PC Drivers makes software designed to speed up users’ computers, an industry niche that’s known…

The Necessity of Geoblocking in the Age of (Almost) Unavoidable Geolocation (Guest Blog Post)

by guest blogger Marketa Trimble Recent U.S. court decisions suggest that geoblocking might no longer be optional – the use of geoblocking might now be de facto mandatory for any website operator who wants to avoid being subject to the jurisdiction…

Departing Employee Required to Transfer Social Media Accounts–Hyperheal Hyperbarics v. Shapiro

This is an ownership dispute over a departing employee’s right to use social media accounts and trademarks of an employer. The facts are somewhat atypical. Shapiro founded a company called Hyperheal Hyperbarics to provide “hyperbaric oxygen therapy”. In 2014, the…

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,…

GoDaddy & Instagram Avoid Liability for Users' Photos of Knockoff Goods--Franklin v. X Gear 101

GoDaddy & Instagram Avoid Liability for Users’ Photos of Knockoff Goods–Franklin v. X Gear 101

The plaintiff owns copyright and trademark registrations in a bear logo. He claims a defendant created a similar-looking bear logo and marketed goods using that logo:   I’ll focus on the court’s treatment of plaintiffs’ claims against GoDaddy and Instagram….