by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
bev stayart, trademark


Court Once Again Dismisses A Bev Stayart Lawsuit

from the use-in-commerce dept

We've covered, a few times now, the weak attempts of one Bev Stayart to sue Yahoo and Google because searches on her included random links to sites selling drugs like Levitra, Viagra and Cialis. After we first wrote about this, Stayart also threatened to sue us over comments made on this site. We responded and never heard back. Since then, she has continued her quixotic quest to sue search engines over the link between her name and Levitra, Viagra and Cialis -- apparently still not recognizing that the more she sues, the more legitimate the connection becomes, as the lawsuit and reports about the lawsuit spread online.

Her initial lawsuit was against Yahoo, which the court quickly dismissed. Not getting the message that this claim was a non-starter, she sued again. Eric Goldman, who has been tracking this story from the beginning, lets us know that the appeals court has upheld the lower court ruling tossing out the lawsuit. They point out that her claims of having a trademark on her name that was violated don't hold much water, in large part because trademark covers commercial use, and her name wasn't being used commercially. Her argument, that her charitable work means that her name is used in commerce, didn't fly with the court:
"While Stayart's goals may be passionate and well-intentioned, they are not commercial. And the good name that a person garners in such altruistic feats is not what § 43 of the Lanham Act protects."
As Goldman notes, one would hope this is the end of her lawsuits, but she's shown no sign of giving up yet. I'll repeat Goldman's "unsolicited advice" from a few months ago:
Some unsolicited advice for Bev Stayart: stop suing search engines, and stop running vanity searches on the search engines. Life is too short to fret about sploggers!

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