Jones Day Afraid Of Letting Judge See Public Citizen, EFF Briefs In Its Bogus Trademark Lawsuit

from the fascinating-legal-reasoning dept

Remember last week when the huge law firm Jones Day was called out for abusing trademark law by suing a small site for reporting public information about some associates at the law firm? Jones Day was basically claiming that using their name and linking to their site, even in reporting factual information, was trademark infringement. That is, of course, ridiculous. A few public interest groups, such as Public Citizen (who first alerted us to this case) and the EFF filed an amicus brief with the court in support of the bullied website, Blockshopper.

Stunningly, Jones Day's response is to file a brief telling the judge he shouldn't even accept the amicus brief. Yes, they're filing a legal brief to tell the judge that these groups should not be allowed to provide their thoughts on the case. The reasoning is the sort that only a true lawyer would appreciate. First, these groups shouldn't be allowed to file a brief because they're "partisan." Of course, a large number of amici briefs are "partisan" in that they support one side or the other (there are some that are neutral). Then, it claims they should not be able to file the amicus brief because it doesn't add anything beyond what the defendant has already filed. And then, in the same sentence where Jones Day complains that the amicus brief doesn't add anything new, it also says the brief shouldn't be allowed because it adds a new argument that the defendant, Blockshopper, didn't think was worth raising.

Yes, you read that correctly. Jones Day is claiming that no amici briefs should be allowed if it favors one party of the other (partisan!). Also, that no amici briefs should be allowed if they don't raise any new issues... and at the same time that raising new issues is a reason not to allow the amici briefs. Is it any wonder that this law firm believes that mentioning its name is a trademark violation? All of this leads you to wonder, what is Jones Day so afraid of in the amicus brief that it wants to prevent the judge from viewing it?
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Filed Under: amicus brief, trademark
Companies: eff, jones day, public citizen


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  • identicon
    BeardedSpock, 25 Sep 2008 @ 11:39am

    Huh?

    How do you file an amicus without taking a position one way or the other?

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

    • identicon
      Evil Mike, 25 Sep 2008 @ 11:54am

      Re: Huh?

      An Amicus brief which states only facts relevant to the matter at hand (which may serve to reinforce one party's stance) could be held as neutral...

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

      • identicon
        Ima Fish, 25 Sep 2008 @ 12:21pm

        Re: Re: Huh?

        "An Amicus brief which states only facts"

        But that would not be allowed because a third party would never be privy to the facts of the case. The facts of the case would come from the parties.

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

    • icon
      sehlat (profile), 25 Sep 2008 @ 11:57am

      Re: Huh?

      Short answer: you don't.

      Taking a position is precisely the point of filing an amicus curiae brief.

      It's a pity lawyers can't be summarily disbarred for "bad faith and demonstrable incompetence." Jones Day as a firm would be out on the streets inside an hour.

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

  • identicon
    db0, 25 Sep 2008 @ 12:11pm

    Tarnishing their own name

    Being so incompetent in interpreting the law will certainly harm their reputation as a law film would it not?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2008 @ 12:21pm

      Re: Tarnishing their own name

      "Being so incompetent in interpreting the law will certainly harm their reputation as a law film would it not?"

      Not really thier reputation now is "big", not "good", the ugly truth is though, "big" has more advantages anyway.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Sep 2008 @ 12:30pm

    "[T]he Movants are partisan interest groups dedicated to opposing perceived encroachments on free speech."

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

  • identicon
    NeoConBushSupporters, 25 Sep 2008 @ 12:51pm

    Its a question of "reason"

    Im conflicted on this thread, cause I hate "hippies" so anything that upsets techdirt tends to look good to me. However, I also hate "lawyers", so anything that benefits lawyers tends to look bad to me. I guess like most tough decisions its just a question of who you hate more.


    VOTE McCain 2008 - CLOSED UNTIL CRISIS SOLVED AND WORLD SAVED

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous of Course, 25 Sep 2008 @ 2:55pm

      Re: Its a question of "reason"

      "I guess like most tough decisions its just a question of who you hate more."

      Spoken like a true yellow dog democrat. Steeped in hate
      and fermenting in his own liberal juices with just a
      hint of rotten eggplant.

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

  • identicon
    Rob Silverman, 25 Sep 2008 @ 2:11pm

    EFF is hardly

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

  • identicon
    Rob Silverman, 25 Sep 2008 @ 2:12pm

    EFF is hardly "partisan"

    Not that it is a legit reason to bar anyone, anyway. But EFF isn't a hippie group. Furthest thing from it.

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

  • identicon
    Wes, 25 Sep 2008 @ 3:55pm

    love the call to arms over intangible value!!!

    attack the patent system but distort the value to the useful arts of our Society over baseless trademark & copyright claims - we need a magna carta on the value of intellectual property in its various forms

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Sep 2008 @ 10:25am

    It is not in the slightest "stunning" that Jones Day has filed its motion regarding amicus briefs by third parties. In fact, it is to be expected and with good reason.

    Whether or not one agrees with the underlying basis for the lawsuit, Jones Day has every right under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and relevant caselaw to challenge third parties trying to interject themselves into a lawsuit between a plaintiff(s) and a defendant(s).

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


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