Judge allows trademark infringement suit against Google to go forward
- Judge allows trademark infringement suit against Google to go forward
By Matthew Huisman The National Law Journal October 26, 2012
U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew
A federal district judge in California has rejected a motion to dismiss in
a trademark infringement suit against Google.
The complaint, brought by CYBERsitter LLC, a company that makes a program
that filters content on the Internet, alleges Google and a rival company
used "a bait and switch strategy to confuse consumers into purchasing a
The rival company, ContentWatch, produces a product called Net Nanny,
which is similar to CYBERsitter. The case centers around the use of AdWords, a
paid placement advertising service offered by Google that is tied to
specific search terms. When specific keywords are entered into the search field,
it yields a sponsored link which appears above the search results.
According to the complaint, ContentWatch allegedly used AdWords placement of the
search term CYBERsitter and the like to direct customers to its own product.
"Defendant Google has willfully participated in, facilitated and
encouraged these acts for its own financial gain," alleged the complaint filed in
the Central District of California.
In its motion to dismiss, Google attorneys wrote that the federal
Communications Decency Act "protects service providers such as Google from
liability for claims precisely like those alleged here, predicated upon publication
of content created by third parties."
But U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew disagreed. On October 24, Lew
denied Google's motion to dismiss on the justification that the Ninth Circuit
has clarified that if a service provider contributes to the development of
illegal content, then it is not entitled to the immunity granted under the
Communications Decency Act.
"We are very pleased with Judge Lew's decision, which takes a significant
step towards defining the scope and contours of CDA immunity with respect
to Google and others," Gregory Fayer, founding partner of Fayer Gipson, said
in a statement to The National Law Journal. "We look forward to moving
ahead with the case, and ultimately vindicating our client's rights against
these false and misleading ads that were facilitated and encouraged by
Google's sale of the right to use CYBERsitter's trademarks without CYBERsitter's
_Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan_
(http://www.americanlawyer.com/firmProfile.jsp?name=Quinn+Emanuel+Urquhart+&+Sullivan) partner Margaret Caruso,
who repres ents Google, did not respond to a request for comment.
Contact Matthew Huisman at _mhuisman@..._
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