Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
keyword ads, trademarks

best buy, geek squad, google, rescuecom

Rescuecom Wants It Both Ways Over Keyword Ads; Involved In Two Lawsuits... But On Opposite Sides

from the that-won't-work-well dept

There have been a bunch of silly lawsuits over the use of competitors' trademarked terms being used in ads on Google AdWords. There are a bunch of different legal issues related to those lawsuits, including whether or not Google should be liable for actions of advertisers, whether it's trademark infringement to mention a competitor in an ad, and whether it's trademark infringement just to have an ad triggered on a competitor's trademarked phrase. There's a company called Rescuecom that has been particularly aggressive in these lawsuits, suing Google for a competitor having ads triggered on their trademarks. While a district court rejected that claim, last year an appeals court sent it back to the lower court to try again. And yet... at the same time, it appears that Rescuecom is involved in a lawsuit on the other side with Best Buy. Best Buy claims that Rescuecom is infringing on the "Geek Squad" trademark, and Rescuecom claims that it has a fair use defense... yes for the very same thing it's accusing others of doing. You have to imagine that's going to be pointed out in both of those lawsuits. Some have suggested that Rescuecom doesn't really care either way, and it believes that these lawsuits are a good PR campaign -- which could explain its different view in each lawsuit. If that's the case, it seems like a rather big abuse of the legal system.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:15am

    There's a story about Abraham Lincoln back when he was a lawyer (and alive of course). He went into court one day and argued a point of law. The judge agreed with him and granted his requested relief. The next day Lincoln was back before the same judge arguing the exact opposite position that he argued the day before.

    The judge said something along the lines of, "Why would you expect me to to rule the exact opposite as I ruled yesterday?"

    To that Lincoln said, "Well, you're honor, yesterday you were wrong."

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

  2. icon
    Rabbit80 (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:51am


    Any references?

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

  3. identicon
    MCR, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:58am

    50% ain't bad

    They'll more then likely win one of them, and with the ambiguity in our legal system, I would not be suprised if they won both (or lost both).

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

  4. icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re:

    I never said it was a true story. It's just a story I've heard before.

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

  5. identicon
    PRMan, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Did someone...

    Did someone just say "Link?" to an Abraham Lincoln story?

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

  6. icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 6:45am

    Re: Re:

    John McCain

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

  7. identicon
    interval, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Re: 50% ain't bad

    Well of course. Its called the "Shotgun Strategy" and is used by many lawyers to ensure those paychecks. If it were able to stand a constitutional test I'd be on board with some kind of reform.

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

  8. icon
    Vic B (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 9:49am

    Pleading both ways

    Isn't what law firms and lawyers do every day? Who says lawyers and their firms fight for what they believe in?!? That's tv lawyers! In real life, they will argue anything they think them may win and get paid for.
    Unless you're a believer in absolute truths in everything, much of any point of contention can be argued for or against.

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

  9. icon
    The Anti-Mike (profile), Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 11:24am

    It's all about strategy

    It's an interesting thing.

    Let's say they lose the Best Buy suit and win their original suit. heck, let's say the opposite happens, where they beat Best Buy and the original judgement is upheld or confirmed in the other case. Both results would give some pretty solid case law going forward.

    Even better, with contradictory rulings, they would have a basis for appeal, as the courts don't agree. See you in a higher court!

    More than anything, they appear to be attempting to turn lemons into lemonade. If the first judgement is upheld, they should be allowed to infringe on Best Buy all they want without issue. Effectively, it would allow them to turn their loss into a sort of bottom line victory, allowing them to expand their business in other ways.

    They have bet both black and red, and have driven a screw into the 0 and 00 to make sure the roulette table doesn't come up against them.

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

  10. identicon
    OMG, Jan 22nd, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    Re: It's all about strategy


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

  11. identicon
    Fiona@_Free Fast And Quick Backlinks, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 9:21am

    Thank You

    Thisz a actually decent Blog. Gratitude for the quality post! You've made some good points here. And unquestionably most intimates will agree with you. Thanks though, I'm delighted some people share useful stuff like this! It'll greatly make easier me in my SEO activities.

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

  12. identicon
    Michelle, Aug 26th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Geek Squad/Best Buy Cyber Stalkers and Cyber Bullies

    Since 4/2009, I have been a victim of cyber crimes perpetrated on me by Best Buy, HP and Geek Squad who have intentionally infected three laptops with pre-installed adware, spyware,and Trojan Horse connection of an external Remote IBM host. The free Windows 7 upgrade is also a Hack. After complaining about two computers purchased from Best Buy, the technician offered to remove the trojanware from on a newly purchased Compaq laptop for my son and to install WebRoot for security. Instead of removing the adware, spyware and Trojan Horse from the system, the system was compromised intentionally by the Geek Squad Technician. When I took both systems back to Best Buy, the Store manager refused a refund, and offered to re-install both system with spyware and adware images. Since 2009, I have been cyber stalked and cyber bullied on a daily bases, up to 11 people are connected to this computer causing Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service. The system gave messages of counterfiet software installed on the computer system the Microsoft office states "I am a victim of adware" from the pre-installed software and trojanware was sold for $99.00 as the recovery disk. When I confronted the manager, he denied everything of course. When I contacted Best Buy Cooperate office, and they looked at the evidence presented, the associated requested copies of the receipt for a full refund, when I e-mailed him the copies of the receipt, it was returned as undeliverable and marked as spam. The computers are less than a year old and according to HP and Best Buy/Geek Squad due to numerous complaints the computers are marked as out of warranty. When updating the system with windows 7, the disk is blank and boots from an external usb of a trojan horse server. On the system is the file "errata" this is a Hack file, and is stated throughout the file, all computers purchased from Best Buy and serviced by Geek Squad are hacked computers, I have collected forensics evidence from all computer proving SPYWARE/ADWARE TROJAN HORSE IS A FACT.

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

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