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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, 17 Jul 2009 @ 9:37am

    Without addressing the merits of this particular matter, it is not in the least surprising that a company might seriously, and quite properly, consider the filing of a lawsuit under circumstances such as this. Of course, whether or not such a lawsuit should be filed is highly fact dependent and ultimately a decision to be made by company management and not its legal counsel.

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