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.
ADG, LLC v. GREAT EXPRESSIONS DENTAL CENTER, P.C. AND TRACIE BATTLE
EASTERN DISTICT OF MICHIGAN (DETROIT)
Every business needs to be aware of the developing use of information by Google in presenting search results. For local results, Google is “validating” the name with available online address information to draw some conclusions about the identity of companies. Obviously there is a chance of error. Just as significant, there is the very real possibility of results’ manipulation. For instance, we recently saw a situation in which our client’s name was being presented in the local results but the telephone number and other contact information was for its primary competitor. Guess who was getting the traffic?
The Plaintiff does business as “Great Expressions Dental Center” and is headquartered in Michigan. The Defendant does business as “Great Expressions Dental Center P.C.” and is headquartered in Alabama. To make a long story short, the Plaintiff claims that Google began erroneously linking the Defendant’s physical address with the Plaintiff’s website address. The problem, according to the Plaintiff, is that there are many negative and disparaging comments about the Defendants and Google is, in effect, associating those derogatory comments with the Plaintiff.
The Defendant is being sued for federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition, false designation of origin, cybersquatting, common law unfair competition, misappropriation, unjust enrichment, and violation of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. Plaintiff requests relief in the form of preliminary and permanent injunctions, actual damages in the amount of $100,000 per domain name, transfer of all infringing domain names to Plaintiff, treble damages, punitive and exemplary damages, attorneys’ fees, expenses, and cost. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1403.
1-800 CONTACTS v. EMPIRE VISION CENTER
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF UTAH
We cover the use of acompetitor’s trademark to key advertising almost every month in this report. I wonder how many Plaintiffs realize that Google’s algorithm in AdWords appears to generate advertisements on terms under a “broad match” program that were not specifically selected. And more importantly, what obligation does a company have to enter its competitors’ trademarks as negative keywords in the advertising campaign even when it has not purchased those keywords? Unanswered questions at this point.
The Plaintiff is the well-known online contact lens distributor. The Defendant is a website in direct competition with the Plaintiff and is allegedly triggering AdWords advertisements by using the “1-800 Contacts” trademark in its keywords.
The lawsuit claims federal trademark infringement, contributory trademark infringement, common law unfair competition, misappropriation, and unjust enrichment. The Prayer for Relief requests preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, actual damages, statutory damages, treble damages, costs, attorneys’ fees, and interest. Traverse Internet Law Cross-Reference Number 1404.