Golf Club Company Takes A Swing At Google

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Four major domainer firms are being sued for filling (otherwise unused) sites with ads.  One other corporation – Google – has also been named in the class action complaint; Google provided the ads.

Golf Club Company Takes A Swing At Google
Golf Club Company Takes A Swing At Google

This case’s lead plaintiff is a company called Vulcan Golf, and while a custom club manufacturer seems out of place next to Google, don’t think that this lawsuit is just someone’s get-rich-quick scheme.  Eric Goldman of the Technology & Marketing Law Blog writes, “The plaintiffs’ attorneys did extensive research and provide a lot of detail, so the complaint lacks some of the deficient elements we often see in lawsuits against search engines.”

Yet typosquatting is a tricky field, and Goldman continues, “[T]he lawsuit could be gutted if the judge rules that none of the parties engaged in a trademark use in commerce – an open legal question that has not been resolved in the domainer context.  “Further, the lawsuit could effectively fall apart if the judge rejects formation of a class.”

Other onlookers also feel that Vulcan Golf may be barking up the wrong tree (I’d have worked in a golf reference, but I’m pretty unfamiliar with the game – sorry).  “[I]t’s hard to see how Google can be blamed for a domain owner registering a typosquatted name, even if Google’s ads appear on the site,” states Techdirt’s Mike Masnick.

In any case, at least this domainer suit will provide some variety to Google’s lawyers – all those YouTube-related complaints were probably becoming a bit of a bore.

Golf Club Company Takes A Swing At Google
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  • http://web-professor.net scott a. horne

    The domainer is screwed in this case. Its very clear he’s dealing in typo domains on trademarked items and this sort of thing has been ruled on before. I can’t find a link to the case atm but it happened ~2001

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