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Goldman Sachs Doesn't Pay Attention: Threatens Gripe Site

from the this-will-end-badly dept

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.
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Filed Under: cease-and-desist, gripe site, streisand effect, trademark
Companies: goldman sachs


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Apr 2009 @ 6:19am

    i don't know why lawyers cling to the state action of unfair competition. i don't think i've ever seen it work out successfully in these IP cases.

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