Traverse Internet Law Disclaimer
The facts are unproven allegations of the Plaintiff and all commentary is based upon the allegations, the truthfulness and accuracy of which are likely in dispute.
UNITED STATES GOLF ASSOCIATION v. ISAAC SCORING SYSTEMS, LLC.
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY (TRENTON)
This case is the perfect example of the challenge faced by a trademark holder in policing the use of its trademark online. There are certainly ways that the USGA’s trademarks can be used in the context of “comparative advertising” and under doctrines of “fair use”. There is an involved factual analysis whenever this type of a claim arises and the good news for businesses is that there are legitimate ways to use the trademark of a competitor in an honest and fair manner. More often than not, however, efforts at using a competitor’s trademark is fraught with illegality in the online world.
The United States Golf Association is a governing body of golf dedicated to the task of preserving and improving the game of golf in the United States since 1994. The Defendant Isaac Scoring Systems, LLC has a website that claims to offer “all the benefits of obtaining a USGA handicap index with handicap certificate” and allegedly creates a false impression among golfers that Isaac can properly offer a handicap index.
The Plaintiff claims false advertising, service mark infringement, false designation of origin, common law unfair competition, New Jersey unfair competition, misappropriation, and tortious interference with business relationships. The USGA requests that the court enter a permanent mandatory injunction prohibiting the Defendant from misleading the public, and that it further award compensatory damages, triple damages, punitive damages, interest, court costs and attorneys’ fees. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1318.
TASER INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. LINDEN RESEARCH, INC., ET AL.
DISTRICT OF ARIZONA (PHOENIX)
Second Life, and other virtual worlds, are becoming literally lawless countries. These countries, however, have very real and significant commercial aspects to them, and many Fortune 500 companies have acquired virtual real estate in these worlds. Understanding all aspects of the online world, and taking the steps to protect the intellectual property of your business, is an integral part of surviving today and into the future.
The Plaintiff is the manufacturer of the “taser”. The Defendant, Linden Research, Inc., and other individual defendants are the owners of “Second Life” an online virtual world, or otherwise involved in distributing products and services, including a brand of virtual weaponry sold and advertised as a “taser”. In the virtual world, the Defendants attempt to sell the “taser” weaponry as their own, and in association with adult oriented, pornographic images and closely aligned to references of a “crack den”.
The lawsuit claims trademark infringement, unfair competition, common law trademark infringement, violations of Civil Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization Act (RICO), trade dress infringement violations, and patent infringement. Plaintiff prays for a declaratory judgment confirming Plaintiff’s trademark rights, an award of Defendants’ profits, compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and costs. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1319.