2 May – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – In a major development in the highly-publicized case involving Google, Inc. and Kelley Drye client American Blind & WallPaper Factory, Inc. (ABWF), a San Jose District Court Judge has denied Google’s attempt to dismiss ABWF’s trademark claims against the search engine.
This important victory supports the validity of the current trademark laws and calls into question Google’s so-called “keyword advertising” program, which has allowed Google to sell even federally registered trademarks as search terms to the highest bidder, usually competitors of the trademark owner. These competitors ultimately appear as “Sponsored Links” at the top of Google’s webpage when a consumer uses those search terms.
The case by ABWF, one of the nation’s largest sellers of window treatments and wall coverings, alleges that Google’s practice of selling ABWF’s brand names to its competitors constitutes trademark infringement, trademark dilution and unfair competition, along with a host of state law violations. ABWF seeks both to stop Google’s brand name trafficking and to collect damages for years of consumer confusion and diversions. Experts say this ruling may act as the catalyst for other vendors to bring similar suits against Google.
Kelley Drye’s team was led by Partners David Rammelt, Susan Greenspon and Paul Garrity, and was assisted by Associate Dawn Beery.