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The American Chemical Society filed a complaint on Dec. 9 against Google Inc. in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The complaint contends that Google’s use of the trademark “Scholar” for its Google Scholar literature-search engine constitutes trademark infringement and unfair competition.
I am sure micrsoft has the word windows somehow trademarked but can't enforce it against all the firms in the world selling actual windows as products. The above falls into this type of clasification of a direct competing product in their minds. Google should have done better homework.
A commonly held view, until one needs the services of legal counsel, at which time the opinion about access to a lawyer undergoes a rapid shift.
Happy New Year to the lawyers amongst us.
What the hey, Happy New Year to all the non-lawyers too.
joined:Dec 29, 2003
the funny part is that people who "hate" and bash lawyers are the first ones to rush to one and use every legal loophole ta save their ass.
I am sure micrsoft has the word windows somehow trademarked but can't enforce it against all the firms in the world selling actual windows as products.
Already been done. M$ sued a Linux product seller using the name "Lindows" which was forced to change to "Linspire."
The Lindows people probably could have won the suit, however, M$ can afford to keep a lawsuit going in perpetuity so a smaller firm has to give up or go broke trying to fight them off.
The pending mark is "Lab Tests Online" based after the website entity of theirs, which is also a .org website.
The issues we have are these...
1) They cannot sue us over a "pending" trademark. If they did, or can, this would be news to us.
2) We were using the mark for a website that did nothing but facilitate lab tests for consumers who wanted to purchase any number of lab tests that our client offered - HIV, Hepititis, Blood tests, etc., about 120 tests in all.
So, to my understanding, we are using a commonly "descriptive" word or phrase that we have personally found on hundreds of websites within sentences, descriptions, and other forms.
3) They are also saying we are confusing customers/site visitors of theirs if they land on our site instead of theirs. I don't see this as they are a non-profit and do not offer lab tests. We offer them and are a .com company.
I think the word "scholar" is also so widely used and such a descriptive meaning is attached, that how could a judge in their right mind see this as copyright infringement?
As this point every college and university in the U.S. and world would have to watch out where they use the word/term "scholar" within their thousands of pieces of literature, programs, and even online systems used for students and faculty. There are more than several hundred that use the term in some shape or form.
Ideas on this are welcome. I hope Google prevails in this case. They absolutely should!
>So, to my understanding, we are using a commonly "descriptive" word or phrase that we have personally found on hundreds of websites within sentences, descriptions, and other forms.
If the opposition period isnt over, this is an argument I would make with the examining attorney.
I see 2 separate issues here.
1. Google used a term which is claimed to have been reserved (which sounds very fishy to me - looking for a settlement).
2. Google named their search service the same as another pre-existing service.
Although "Google Scholar" is alright. If a search service already existed with this name, then they really should have chosen something else... "Google Papers" for example?!
"Scholar Search" into google:
Many Universities, it would seem, are using Scholar Search Associates [scholarsearchassoc.com] service, which, as far as I can tell, has nothing to do with SciFinder Scholar.
Also found Truman Scholars Search [trumanscholars.org], which is a searchable database of scholars.
Either of these two organizations would be in just as much trouble as Google, but both have been around a lot longer than Google Scholar.
So why weren't they sued?
This whole thing, to me, smacks of "nuissance lawsuit" going after the company with deep pockets. Not in the hope of winning the lawsuit, but in the hope that Google will just pay rather than go to the expense of fighting it out.
p.s. I can't remember where the quote comes from, but 18th and 19th century french philosophy comes to mind as the source: "The most truly just legal system would be one where lawyers became unneccessary, for the law could be clearly understood by any layman who it affects."
"The most truly just legal system would be one where lawyers became unneccessary, for the law could be clearly understood by any layman who it affects."
Nice idea, but it's unfortunately very impractical. Life just has too many complexities for law to be so narrowly focused.
But I think this one is clear. Google should win this hands-down. Too bad they lose any way you look at it - even if they win, they're out court-costs.
I notice a couple of things here... one is people talking about frivolous lawsuits, which are so rampant in America, costing average consumers 200 billion in 2003 (Yes, that's with a "B" billion). That's Newsweek's statistic. It's the kind of thing that people think, "Oh, that will never happen to me," and then it does, and then overnight, they do realize the value of a good attorney .
At the risk of sounding self-promoting, if you're interested in learning how your business or family can get really affordable access to over 2,700 of America's top attorneys, watch one of the videos at [tinyurl.com...] They take about 6 minutes.
The other thing is if anyone on this forum is an attorney, or knows an attorney who frequents online message boards, I would really appreciate a favor. I have started a legal help forum at [thelegaleagles.org...]
I am looking for an attorney (or more than just one) who can be a resident expert on this site and offer legal advice, or help, to the people who come there and ask for it.
I've gotten more visitors there than I was intially prepared for, but if you would like to take the reins and be the resident attorney, we can figure out some way for me to help you in return (SEO work, bringing you new clients, etc.)
Thanks so much!
Oh, and just my two cents on the Google lawsuit, I say it's bogus and hope Google wins.