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Jones Day v. Blockshopper LLC

Topic(s): Internet Free Speech - Use of Brand Names in Domain Names and Metatags
Date Of Involvement: 09/19/2008

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Jones Day, a national law firm, found it objectionable when BlockShopper.com, a web site that reports on real estate transactions in tony neighborhoods in several cities, published artilces on condo purchases by two associates in its Chicago office. It sued BlockShopper claiming that by mentioning the firm name in headlines in the articles, and by linking to the associates’ bio pages on the Jones Day web site, BlockShopper infringed and diluted its trademark. In a brief co-authored with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen argued that the trademark claims were preposterous and, in any event, were barred by the First Amendment which protects the right to publish truthful information even if the information is about a trademark holder and hence uses the trademark to convey the truth. The trial judge refused to accept the amicus brief and denied the motion to dismiss. The case was eventually settled.