Trademark Articles

Price Of Competitor Keyword Data: One Subpoena

A revived squabble between two recreational flooring companies has resulted in Google being subpoenaed for some of its keyword purchase data. The full implications of the order are not yet known, but third parties are nervous about being pulled in, and others worry about competitive data being de facto purchased through the courts.

Judge: No GMail For You!

Bad news for Google in Germany after a court denied any further action against Daniel Giersch in order to wrangle the rights of the GMail trademark from him. Giersch began using the GMail mark in 2000, four years earlier than Google.

Competitor Keyword Suits Not Doing Well

Those bringing lawsuits claiming that bidding on competitor trademark keywords is a form of infringement aren’t doing well in court. Though a few cases have made it past one court or another, those and others are getting caught up in the Second Circuit.

MySpace Thinks It Owns ‘Space’ and ‘Place’ Names

If you’re thinking of setting up a new business with any combination of the words "my" "place" or "space" in the name of it, be aware that MySpace will most likely file against you at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Google Losing Fight For Its Name
· 3

The search advertising company has been fighting against the usage of its name as a verb ever since Merriam-Webster put ‘google’ in the dictionary. It’s a battle they are not going to win.

Utah Lawmakers Take Blinders Off, Earplugs Out

A resounding "DOI!" came springing out of the Utah legislature late last week as lawmakers acknowledged they should have done a little background work, or at least listened to all the squalling, before they passed the Trademark Protection Act.

Google Wields Precedent In Trademark Case
· 1

Google has beaten a couple of challenges to AdWords over competitor usage of trademarks as keywords, but they now have a third lawsuit coming to them from American Blind & Wallpaper Factory.

Google, AOL, Earthlink, and Ask are all on the receiving end of American Blind & Wallpaper Factory’s lawsuit over trademark infringement. ABWF contended the use of its trademarks as keywords to trigger competitor advertising violated those marks.

Utah vs. Google: Trademark Debates Heat Up
· 1

The Utah State Legislature has passed a bill that would make it illegal to purchase keywords relating to a competitor’s product in order to show up alongside them in search results. The Trademark Protection Act has come under much public scrutiny, most notably by Google.

AOL Throws Cincinnati A Curve

The 2007 baseball season is opening with a surprising match up: the Cincinnati Reds versus AOL. The Major League Baseball club filed opposition to AOL’s application for trademark of "RED," the name of AOL’s social network for teens.

Utah Law Bans Competitor Keyword Bids

The Utah State Legislature has passed a Trademark Protection Act that creates a new type of mark called an electronic registration mark; it probably will not survive a Constitutional test according to the state’s own general counsel.

Google Responds To GMail Trademark Dispute
· 10

Addressing a petition for cancellation of the GMail trademark in the US, Google responded to the US Patent and Trademark Office that International Independent Investment Research’s application for the trademark was invalid from the beginning.

Patent and Trademark Office to Enable Comments

According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is planning to launch a trial project in which outsiders will be able to comment on proposed patents that are working their way through the (incredibly time-consuming) patent application process. In effect, people will be allowed to post comments on patents and then other users will be allowed to vote on those comments, a la Digg.com.

Google: The British Are Coming For GMail!
· 18

The company that recently won the rights to the GMail trademark in the UK has taken its case Stateside. And if Independent International Investment Research (IIIR) is successful claiming its stake to GMail in the US as well, your @gmail.com address could change to @googlemail.com instead.

Yahoo To File Trademark Complaint Against AOL?

Yahoo may be set to file opposition to AOL’s use of Instant Messenger at the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Google’s GMail Trademark Challenged In US

Google hasn’t had much luck in Europe holding on to its Gmail trademark, but we haven’t heard much in the way of a challenge in the US. A petition for cancellation filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office shows that it certainly hasn’t gone unchallenged.

Google Vs. Vexatious Balls
· 5

Google is well known for fighting the genericization of its trademark, and was especially incensed when Webster’s and Oxford Dictionaries recently added "to google" to its list of verbs. While it’s common for major companies to be sensitive about their trademark, a petition for cancellation of the Google trademark by a most notorious litigator was no doubt a burr under their saddle.

Cisco and Apple Settle Up iPhone Dispute

The legal spat between Apple and Cisco over use of the term "iPhone" was nothing that, speculatively, a big bag o’money couldn’t solve. Though the terms of the settlement both companies announced yesterday are confidential, it isn’t unreasonable to think that Cisco got some benefit beyond mutual use of the term and an interoperability agreement.

The statement reads this way:

George Lucas Declares Trademark War On Digg
· 2

There’s no balance in the Force with the Digg.com around, says LucasFilms, who has filed a trademark complaint against the social news site. Diggers haven’t been this torn since they walked out of The Phantom Menace and realized how much it sucked.

Lactivist Gets Apology From Pork
· 1

"That’ll do pig, that’ll do," is how SEM-at-home mom and Lactivist Jennifer Laycock concluded her beef with the National Pork Board after receiving a heartfelt apology and the promise of a donation from to the Mother’s Milk Bank of Ohio.

CBS Turns Blind Eye To Super Booble

We’ll not pretend TV networks have a conscience any more than we might assume a 13-year-old is actually “sorry,” or that he won’t go for a joyride in the new car while you’re sleeping without the weighty parental finger threatening near-death if he does.

Lawyers Losing Battle of Trademark Policing

ClickZ reports from the the Association of National Advertiser’s Law and Business Affairs conference in New York.