Video Professor Loses Lawsuit Against Amazon Over Keyword Advertising

from the contracts-and-trademarks dept

The Video Professor is the company that is notoriously litigious over critics of its marketing practices -- and just a few months ago even sent us a threatening email after we wrote a post about some of the company's actions. After a quick discussion between lawyers, the company agreed that it would not take action against us. But its lawyers have still been busy elsewhere -- though, the company also seems to lose a lot of lawsuits. This particular one involved Amazon.com, and The Video Professor's annoyance that Amazon had bid on the keywords "video professor" on various ad platforms. Of course, given that Amazon might be selling either products from The Video Professor or some of its competitors, that's a perfectly reasonable (and lawful) use of keyword advertising. The trademark does not give the trademark holder complete control over the mark.

Either way, it looks like the Video Professor has lost again on this one, even if the trademark analysis didn't even come into play. It turns out that way back whenever the company had signed an earlier deal with Amazon to be a vendor on Amazon, it had also signed a vendor agreement that included a "perpetual trademark license." Summary judgment, case closed.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    John Gardner (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 4:43am

    haha...

    sucker

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    $$$, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 4:49am

    How much money is at stake, on average, in each typical case? I assume that the loser pays the defendants fees.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:27am

    so it is a non-story, as copyright and such didnt enter into the discussion, just a contract.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:32am

    Re:

    This is "tech-dirt" not "copyright-and-such-dirt".

    Anyway, someone needs to tech the professor a lesson. Over-litigious companies are companies that shouldn't exist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Duh, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:37am

    Re:

    This is a non-comment as the subby had nothing intelligent to say.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    Copyright would never enter this discussion, regardless of the contract. This was a trademark case.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Michael, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:45am

    Lawyers?

    Their lawyers are idiots. How can you sue someone with which you have a vendor agreement without READING THE AGREEMENT?

    Unless the lawyers did not have access to this vendor agreement, they should all be fired.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re:

    sadly there isnt much tech on tech dirt. 95% or more of the stories are copyright, patent, or piracy based stories. almost no tech at all unless it also involved one of those three things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Old meaning of the word "tech" as in business, which recently is 95% copyright, patent, or piracy based.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 6:32am

    It's amazing to me that any company would sue a vendor or other business affiliate without even a revue of the contract with said affiliate. It's amazing to me that any attorney who recommends such action is even still allowed to practice law. And people wonder why the world is such a mess!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Overcast (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 7:24am

    You know - I've never tried any of his videos, etc - I've always been as tech saavy as anyone, so I guess figuring out new software is not an issue for me.

    But - if the ol' Video Professor had ANY CLUE at how many people asked me if his stuff was any good, he would freak out.

    I mean - just about every non-tech saavy person I know has asked me about those.

    I usually say, 'well I'm not sure of the content, never seen them, but not sure I'd trust them as they are so busy suing competitors and people who say anything about them, they must be over compensating for shortfalls in other areas'.

    Or something to that effect..

    If they would have just ran their commercials on TV, and I didn't see all these damn frivolous lawsuits from them, I might be inclined to check one out just so I know if I should recommend to friends and family...

    But now a days, recommending this stuff to a friend is like recommending an Apple.. The companies don't seem to focus on technology, like Netscape did; they focus on litigation.

    So when you guys mention the lack of 'tech' on the site, it's not TechDirt's issue - so much as it is an issue with the rest of the industry.

    Many of these companies will be known for lawsuits in years to come and as they fade away - not good technology...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Vial company that should cease to exist. I've spoken with a few people that they've screwed out of decent amounts of money based on how they "advertise" their product and the resulting fees associated. May the professor rot in hell.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 9:08am

    @8

    of which every story literally has to do wiht technology pertaining to :
    copyrights
    patents
    and trademarkings

    SO your TAMing it are you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    tech as technology. if this was about business it would be bizdirt or something similar. this entire site is about sticking it to copyright, patent, and trademark holders any way possible, in an attempt to support the masnicks rather myopic view of what is infinite. it is shocking to see how many people fall for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Bradley Stewart, Apr 28th, 2010 @ 9:48am

    How Can We Give Away

    this new disk on how to sue everyone for everything for just the cost of shipping and handling. We can do this because we know that if you are satisfied with it you will keep coming back to us for all your computer needs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    nasch (profile), Apr 28th, 2010 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    I share the professor's last name, I hope we're not related!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    bill keller, May 7th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    Re:

    Do you have a life?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    CRBean, Sep 2nd, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    Re:

    This company has so many people suing HIM, it's funny how the owner wants to spend his money suing everyone else. It's like John Scherer thinks by suing others, it makes him look like he's not guilty himself of committing questionable business practices.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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