1. And again: Google has
been sued because of trademark infringement!
The complaint, filed by
plaintiff Government Employees Insurance Co. (Geico) against defendant search
engine companies Google Inc. and Overture Services Inc. on May 4, 2004 alleges
that defendants by selling the famed "Geico" mark as adword so
that the protected term can appear in sponsored search results, are infringing
on the complainent's trademark. According to the suit, that practice causes
consumer confusion in violation of the Lanham Act, the primary federal law
covering trademark registration and protection. Geico has asked for a
permanent injunction, attorneys' fees and damages.
And finally something for fans
of conspiracy theories: Geico is not only the largest direct marketer of auto
insurances in the United States, which makes it the most high-profile American
company to have filed a complaint against Google over their adwords, but also a
subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, the investment company owned by Warren Buffett.
Buffett is rumored to be a good friend of Bill Gates. The start of the search
engine war against Google?
May 19, 2004: Olsen,
sues Google, Overture over trademarks, ZDNet "Auto insurance
company Geico has sued Google and Overture Services for allegedly violating
its trademarks in search-related advertisements, in the latest legal salvo
against the Internet companies."
Illegal link to the "Best anti-Bush ad" ever
27, the anti-Moore Web site
posted a link to an illegal version of the film "Fahrenheit 9/11"
available elsewhere on a file-sharing network, noting that Moore himself has
publicly backed downloading the movie online. Moore is qouted: “I don’t
agree with the copyright laws, and I don’t have a problem with people
downloading the movie and sharing it with people. As long as they’re not doing
it to make a profit, you know, as long as they’re not trying to make a profit
off my labor. I would oppose that.”
2, 2004: Streit
um Michael-Moore-Film im Internet, Heise:
Jim Kenefick sieht sich im Recht und hat auf seiner Website ein Tondokument
verlinkt, laut dem Moore gesagt haben soll, er habe keine Probleme damit,
wenn Web-Surfer den Film über P2P-Tauschbörsen verbreiten."
9/11» kursiert im Netz, Netzzeitung:
"Wie nicht anders zu erwarten, ist eine erste Kopie des neuen
Michael-Moore-Films in Online-Tauschbörsen aufgetaucht. Eine
Anti-Moore-Website hat den Link darauf verbreitet."
3. Google updates
Toolbar - introduces Browse by Name
In July Google added
a new feature to its toolbar that allows users to navigate the Web by typing in
a name instead of a URL. Now, to search, you simply type the name or description
of the site you're looking for. If there's a strong match, Google will go
straight to that page. If users type in a name that isn't specific or well
recognized, the toolbar automatically performs a Google search on the subject,
giving users a choice of destinations to choose from, the company said.
16, 2004: Neue
Google-Toolbar für den IE versteht Begriffseingaben, Golem:
"Google hat seine Google Toolbar für den Internet Explorer überarbeitet und
bietet ab sofort eine neue Version zum Download an. Als Neuerung wurde nun
die Möglichkeit integriert, dass Begriffe direkt eingegeben werden können
und Google versucht, dazu die passende Webseite zu finden. Außerdem werden
damit Webseiten-Adressen bei der Eingabe vervollständigt."
15, 2004: Sherman, Chris, Google
Toolbar Adds Keyword Browsing to Internet Explorer, Searchenginewatch:
"Google has added a keyword based browsing feature to its toolbar, allowing
users to type words rather than URLs into the Internet Explorer address bar
and automatically see the "most relevant" site for those terms."
4. Hyperlinks do not violate
Norwegian copyright or marketing laws
Accordings to a Norwegian
district court ruling hyperlinks to a competitor's database website do not
violate Norway's Copyright Act or Marketing Practices Act (Finn Eiendom AS and
Finn.no v. Notar AS (Trondheim D. Ct.), 162): "Surface Hyperlinking is a
normal practice on the internet"
5. The gold medal
for stupid linking policy goes to ...
There have always been reports
about webmasters that don't like links pointing to their websites. First they
sued - mostly because of deep links - and lost in many European countries (e.g. Austria,
Germany) and in the
USA - remember the Ticketmaster
case? Than they tried to restrict the right
to link with "stupid"
linking policies and ridiculed themselves (the websites of Prof.
Sorkin and Links
& Law feature lists of companies that do so in the USA and in Germany).
And are they getting smarter now? Guess not! Take a look at the official Olympic
website and their Hyperlink
policy: If you want to link to their site you have to send a request letter
to the Internet Department stating e.g. a short description of your site, the
url of your site, the publishing period (How about linking for three months?...)
and the reason for linking (I always wanted to link to your site, I very much
admire its content....)! And finally you are only allowed to use the term
"ATHENS 2004" and no other term as the text referent...