Google is involved in a lawsuit, now on appeal, with Rosetta Stone about sale of keywords that reflects trademarks. Paul Levy, of the Public Citizen, reviewed Rosetta Stone’s brief and was concerned by the redactions (his concerns discussed here). He succeeded in making public an unredacted copy of the brief available. The unredacted brief, with formerly redacted portions circled, is here.
Among the redactions: Rosetta alleges that Google conducted internal studies that showed high (as in 94% in some cases) levels of consumer confusion resulting from use of a trademark anywhere in the text of an ad.
Another case interpreting an advertising injury clause – this time around – “advertising injury caused by offense committed in the course of advertising” arising out of “infringement of copyright, title or slogan.” Insured was accused of various counts of infringement. EDNY (Weinstein, J.): The duty to defend is broader than the duty to indemnify. Carrier had to defend
The word that he has trouble pronouncing is “intermediaries.”
This is an ad in today’s Times. It advertises an auction in December of ‘timeless trademarks.’ There are some recently defunct names such as INFOSEEK, CHAMPION INTERNATIONAL and SHEARSON as well as some blasts from the past such as BRANIFF, SNOW CROP and a real golden oldie, VICTROLA. The entire list is viewable here. It seems that there’s at least some residual goodwill attached to some of these names. On the other hand I’m not sure if anyone younger than me knows that there used to be a BOAC Airline. How would VICTROLA work for a streaming service? GENERAL CINEMA for a video-on-demand service?
What do you get if you buy? It’s not clear from the site (without registering). I looked up some of the names (INFOSEEK, VICTROLA, GENERAL INSTRUMENT) and see that they are the subject of ITU applications, presumably in the name of entities behind this auction. All the applications are pre-statement of use (as opposed to claiming dates of first use associated with the ‘original’ brand owners).
Section 10 of the Lanham Act controls assignment of pre-use ITUs. The ad provides a contact number to obtain the ‘history of each trademark.’ It would be interesting to know what assets remain from some of these brands.
The Town of Islip in Long Island owns and operates Macarthur Airport. Plaintiff obtained the domain name MACARTHURAIRPORT.COM in 2000 and put up a website around that time. Check out the official looking Transportation Security Adminstration banners on the top of the page. Check out the very small disclaimer at the very very bottom.
Plaintiff allegedly approached the Town of Islip with a proposal to operate the website and was rebuffed. Plaintiff has apparently operated the website all this time. The Town approached him in 2007 and began discussions which led nowhere. Plaintiff went out and registered a bunch more domain names. The Town began its own official website at FLYLIMA.COM (LIMA standing for Long Island Macarthur Airport and not the Peruvian city). Town brought a UDRP in August of this year which it apparently won (the decision, NAF 1339861) is not up on the NAF site yet). Plaintiff brings a DJ against the Town to stay the transfer.