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Author Topic: legal claim for returning results for third-party products when searching a TM?  (Read 1010 times)

MYK

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I vaguely recall some cases back in Trademarks class in which websites were sued for falsely using "<META>" tags to trick search engines into returning those pages when people searched for brand-name products, when in fact the websites were advertising competitors' products (usually cheap dime-store junk).

Are there any legal causes of action when a "walled garden" type of sales website -- a site like Amazon or Sears or whatever -- turns up search results for, say, every kitchen widget under the Sun when someone searches for "Zyliss"?

The site is basically trying to throw up cheap competing merchandise for the brand-name product that the customer is actually searching for.  "We don't have Zyliss can openers, but you can buy this 1950s style piece of stamped steel instead."
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

MYK

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Happened to run into an interesting site which lists summaries of cases related to various "internet law" topics.  This topic:

http://www.internetlibrary.com/internetlib_subject.cfm?TopicID=95

has some of the types of cases I was trying to recall.  The site as a whole styles itself "The Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions" and seems pretty useful as a starting point.
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"The life of a patent solicitor has always been a hard one."  Judge Giles Rich, Application of Ruschig, 379 F.2d 990.

Disclaimer: not only am I not a lawyer, I'm not your lawyer.  Therefore, this does not constitute legal advice.

artchain

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Happened to run into an interesting site which lists summaries of cases related to various "internet law" topics.  This topic:

http://www.internetlibrary.com/internetlib_subject.cfm?TopicID=95

has some of the types of cases I was trying to recall.  The site as a whole styles itself "The Internet Library of Law and Court Decisions" and seems pretty useful as a starting point.

Thanks for posting - this looks like a great resource. 

Unfortunately, the search function on the site doesn't seem to work, which makes it a lot less useful.  I sent an e-mail to Martin Samson to let him know; hopefully it's something that can be easily fixed.

JV

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I vaguely recall some cases back in Trademarks class in which websites were sued for falsely using "<META>" tags to trick search engines into returning those pages when people searched for brand-name products, when in fact the websites were advertising competitors' products (usually cheap dime-store junk).

Are there any legal causes of action when a "walled garden" type of sales website -- a site like Amazon or Sears or whatever -- turns up search results for, say, every kitchen widget under the Sun when someone searches for "Zyliss"?

The site is basically trying to throw up cheap competing merchandise for the brand-name product that the customer is actually searching for.  "We don't have Zyliss can openers, but you can buy this 1950s style piece of stamped steel instead."
MYK,
I would refer to the following cases:
Brookfield Communications, Inc. v. West Coast Entertainment Corp., 174 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 1999)
Std. Process, Inc. v. Banks, 554 F. Supp. 2d 866 (E.D. Wis. 2008)
1-800 Contacts, Inc. v. WhenU.com, Inc., 414 F.3d 400 (2d Cir. 2005)
Rescuecom Corp. v. Google Inc., 562 F.3d 123 (2d Cir. 2009)
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