KinderStart Case Against Google Dismissed

    March 21, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Almost a year after KinderStart sued Google for dropping it from the search engine’s index, the presiding judge has put an end to the case by siding with Google’s requests.

KinderStart Case Against Google Dismissed
KinderStart Case Against Google Dismissed

"Over? Did you say 'over'? Nothing is over until we decide it is!" -- Bluto Blutarsky gives his memorable speech in Animal House

Even though it wasn’t over for the Deltas, it is over for KinderStart. Unless KinderStart wants to press the issue by appealing the decision, their lawsuit against Google has reached the finish line.

Matt Cutts, who provided a declaration for the case, posted a brief note along with a couple of excerpts from the decision by US District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel:

The judge in the KinderStart case granted Google’s motion to dismiss without leave to amend…I believe the judge also granted Google’s motion for sanctions against the plaintiff and the plaintiff’s attorney

Santa Clara University School of Law professor Eric Goldman agreed with Matt’s assessment:

Not only did Judge Fogel dismiss the complaint without leave to amend (meaning that the case is over unless KinderStart appeals to the Ninth Circuit), but he issued Rule 11 sanctions against KinderStart’s counsel Gregory Yu–meaning that Yu will have to pay some of Google’s legal fees (the amount will be determined later). The substantive result isn’t surprising given the complete lack of merit in the lawsuit from day 1, but the Rule 11 sanctions show, once again, that Google plays hardball against plaintiffs when threatened (it also shows that Judge Fogel doesn’t tolerate nonsense in his courtroom–good for him!).

KinderStart had accused Google of infringing free speech, antitrust activity, defamation, and other claims based on its site being dropped by Google to a PageRank of zero. This wiped out search-related traffic coming to the site from Google.

As Goldman noted in an earlier post about the case, "it’s precarious to build a business on free search engine traffic. My advice is to enjoy the ride so long as it lasts, but don’t plan on the good times lasting forever, and definitely don’t expect a ton of sympathy when the gravy train ends."

It does look like KinderStart and Yu should expect some mail from Google, bearing the words "Please Remit" on it.