I’ve been expecting 2010 to be a busy year for developments with the pending litigations relating to online infringement of brands when used as keywords to deliver sponsored search results, and yesterday I posted a blog for Latitude about it. The purpose of that post was to bring non-lawyers up to speed with the topic but do feel free to comment there on any of the legal implications of these cases should the mood take you. Meanwhile, here are a few useful legal links on the subject for the lawyers amongst you:
Eric Goldman’s Technology & Marketing Law Blog continues to be a first class source of updates on the US Google Adwords litigation; he is meticulously in backing up his blogs with a raft of legal sources and links and his comments are insightful both in terms of the legal ramifications and also in terms of well-spotted human-error and oddities (see his commentary on the Flowbee litigation linked below for a case in point).
Eric has recently blogged on the decision by Rescue.com to drop its lawsuit against Google (seemingly because of the duplicitous position which the plaintiff found itself in by arguing both sides of the coin in parallel lawsuits, and also because of the sheer length of time the dispute has now been dragging on for), the Jurin case (in which the keyword seller v advertising seller argument surfaces), and the transfer of the Flowbee litigation (by invoking the venue selection/governing jurisdiction provisions in its Adwords contract); and on top of all of that he also helpfully maintains a running record of all Adwords cases on the books in the US.
Moving to Europe, back in September 2009 the Attorney General gave his opinion on the 3 French Google Adwords cases which had been referred to the ECJ for judgement. The AG comes down on the side of the search-engines, a position which some commentators have referred to as a mistake, so we will have to wait and see how the ECJ ultimately rules. In addition, we’re expecting judgement on Interflora v M&S and L’Oreal v eBay from the ECJ. We are tantalisingly promised opinions in “early 2010”....tick tock tick tock...