1. Belgium: Publisher v.
Google has been ordered
by a Belgian court to
remove all articles,
photographs and graphics
issued the complaint and
won the court ruling on
September 5th. Not only
does this require Google
to remove content from
Google News, the court
order also requires removing
the content from the
a link to the
full court order.
Google asked the court
to reconsider its
decision and requested
that the requirement to
post the ruling on its
home pages be suspended.
The court on Friday 22nd
September agreed to
reconsider its ruling in
November this year.
Also see a
press release by the
World Association of
about a new
called ACAP (Automated
Content Access Protocol)
which is used to tell
search engine spiders,
and other services, what
can be done with the
content they crawl. The
project is due to start
later this year and last
for 12 months.
September 25, 2006:
About the Google News case in Belgium, Official Google Blog:
"You may have read recently about Google being taken to court in Belgium.
Whilst we aren't allowed to comment on the judgment itself, we thought you
may want to know the facts of the case -- what actually happened, and when
-- and the issues it raises."
September 25, 2006:
Googles Einspruch in
Google muss einer
Folge leisten und die
belgischen Gerichts auf
September 22, 2006: Bogatin, Donna,
Google vs. Belgian media: You go Belgium!, ZDNet Blogs
September 18, 2006:
Google muss belgische
seinem Angebot entfernen,
Google muss Artikel,
belgischer Zeitungen aus
entfernen, die vom
2. Theresa Bradley sues
Google over Adsense Ban
It took Theresa B. Bradley and
her staff 100 hours for "placing and reviewing HTML code for Google AdSense" on
her site, BravaCorp.com. Although Google's AdSense terms &
states "Please note that clicking on your own ads for any reason is prohibited,
to avoid potential inflation of advertiser costs", Bradley clicked her own ads
"to verify that the advertisers were not selling competing products" (Google
Preview Tool that helps customers judge the quality of AdSense
advertisements on their site). It didn't take long and Google suspended her
Bradley now decided to sue
Google for $250,000 in San Francisco federal district court because it took her
so long to place and review AdSense advertisements on her web site. So let us do
a little math: 250.000 dollars for 100 hours, that makes 2.500 dollars an hour.
Not bad! But the nonsense continues: BravaCorp.com is not a very big web site:
Only about 50 pages. So it took 2 hours to include the AdSense code into one
The suit also accuses Google of
fraud and misrepresentation, including misrepresentation in commercial
advertising, and of "willfull, wanton, fraudulent and malicious" conduct
regarding its AdSense product.
Bradley's chance of success? 0
%, I guess..
3. Contract Terms "easily
accessed" by clicking on hyperlink
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that a forum selection clause in an internet service provider’s terms of service was enforceable against a customer who did not read the terms prior to clicking
an “Accept” button. In ESL Worldwide.com Inc. v. Interland Inc., S.D.N.Y. No. 1:06-cv-02503,
6/21/06, the court held that the plaintiff was sufficiently notified of the clause by text stating, “By clicking the ‘Accept’ button below you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be bound by the policies listed below,” even where the policies
were offered as PDF documents rather than as inline text or hyperlinked HTML pages.
Full text of the
4. Kinderstart v. Google:
Second Amended Complaint (for more information on the case see
Update 38 and
In July 2006 U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel
for the Northern District in San Jose dismissed a lawsuit brought by
Kinderstart.com that accused Google in March 2006 of "pervasive monopolistic
practices" that led to the denial of the site's free speech rights, prevention
and destruction of competition, and predatory pricing (N.D. Cal.
motion to dismiss granted July 13, 2006).
Kinderstart, a parenting search engine site, filed its suit after suffering an
approximate 70 percent drop in monthly traffic after Google buried its
visibility in search results. In September 2006 KinderStart issued
a 63 page
second amended complaint against Google.
For a more comprehensive look at the lawsuit in
German see: Ott,
Google gegen Kinderstart.com
5. 800-JR Cigar Inc. v. GoTo.com
800-JR Cigar, Inc. v. GoTo.com, Inc.,et al., the US District Court of New Jersey
issued an opinion on whether the use of a trademark as a "keyword" constitutes
trademark infringement by a search engine. The plaintiff, JR Cigar,
is a prominent seller of cigars at discount prices and the owner of six federal
trademarks that utilize the formative “JR” or “JR Cigar.” The defendant, GoTo is
a pay-for-priority Internet search engine (a search engines that solicits bids
from advertisers for key words or phrases to be used as search terms, giving
priority results on searches for those terms to the highest-paying advertiser)
formed in 1997 (now Overture). Between April 1999 and June 2001, GoTo earned
revenue of about $345 from paid listings for “jr cigar” and related search terms.
The court adopted the reasoning of Government
Employees Insurance Co. v. Google Inc., 330 F. Supp. 2d 700, 73 USPQ2d 1212 (E.D.
Va. 2004) and held, among other things, that such sales by a search engine
constitute a "use" of the trademark "in commerce" within the meaning of federal
trademark statutes. According to the court GoTo made use of JR's trademark in
• GoTo traded on the value of the marks when it accepted payment by competitors
of JR desiring to pay for prominence in search results.
• GoTo injected itself into the marketplace by placing the advertisers before
the natural search results list, acting as a conduit to steer potential
customers away from JR to JR's competitors.
• GoTo's "Search Term Suggestion Tool" identified which of JR's marks were
effective search terms, and then marketed them to JR's competitors.
The court concluded, however, that there are
disputed issues of fact that preclude a summary judgment ruling on the issue of
direct trademark infringement, in particular the likelihood of confusion
resulting from the sale of trademark terms as keyword search terms.
For a detailed look at the decision, read:
6. Google wins keyword
lawsuit against Rescuecom
Google won a major sponsored
keyword trademark case in the USA. A New York District Court has dismissed a lawsuit
brought by Rescuecom, a computer repair and
consulting business, that accused Google of trademark infringement by selling
its brand as a search term. The court came to this conclusion, in part, because "there
is no allegation that (Rescuecom's) trademark is displayed in any of the
sponsored links about which (Rescuecom) is concerned."
"There is no allegation that (Google) places (Rescuecom's) trademark on any
goods, containers, displays or advertisements, or that its internal use is
visible to the public," the judge concluded.
The ruling (16-page / 1.7MB PDF)
7. Legal-IST Workshop in