Just as we saw some corporate lawyers (finally!) advising clients not to
freak out and go legal when they saw a "gripes site" show up, it appears that Goldman Sachs has done exactly that
. The company and its lawyers have apparently been threatening the site GoldmanSachs666.com
. The company is pulling out the oldest trick in the book, claiming that Goldman Sachs customers are "confused" by the site:
"Your use of the mark Goldman Sachs violates several of Goldman Sachs' intellectual property rights, constitutes an act of trademark infringement, unfair competition and implies a relationship and misrepresents commercial activity and/or an affiliation between you and Goldman Sachs which does not exist and additionally creates confusion in the marketplace,"
This is a stretch. Many, many courts have found that such sites are perfectly legitimate, because no one would confuse a site complaining about a company for the company itself. It's likely that Goldman Sachs felt that sending the cease-and-desist would scare the blogger into shutting up. But... as with so many of these things, all it's actually done is draw a hell of a lot more attention to the site. You would think that the bank would have a few more important things to be focused on than some ranting blogger. Indeed, the fact that they seem to want him to shut up, gives him a lot more legitimacy than if the bank had simply ignored him. The fact that management or the lawyers (or both) think this is a big enough issue to deal with suggests that they're actually concerned about what he's saying.