The Video Professor is the company that is notoriously litigious
over critics of its marketing practices -- and just a few months ago even sent us a threatening email after we wrote a post
about some of the company's actions. After a quick discussion between lawyers, the company agreed that it would not take action against us. But its lawyers have still been busy elsewhere -- though, the company also seems to lose a lot of lawsuits. This particular one involved Amazon.com, and The Video Professor's annoyance that Amazon had bid on the keywords "video professor" on various ad platforms. Of course, given that Amazon might be selling either products from The Video Professor or some of its competitors, that's a perfectly reasonable (and lawful) use of keyword advertising. The trademark does not give the trademark holder complete control over the mark.
Either way, it looks like the Video Professor has lost again
on this one, even if the trademark analysis didn't even come into play. It turns out that way back whenever the company had signed an earlier deal with Amazon to be a vendor on Amazon, it had also signed a vendor agreement that included a "perpetual trademark license." Summary judgment, case closed.