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Old 01-31-2002, 05:48 PM   #1
darnell
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Exclamation Pay for Rank Search Engines Sued!

A very good article here .

Personally I think they have a very good case. If they win the case and get $440 million, I'm sure all these search engines will increase their fees to make up for the loss.
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Old 01-31-2002, 06:08 PM   #2
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Mmm.. maybe I better sue the Yellow Pages in my local town.

If I own a barbers shop called "great cuts" and people looking under barbers for my "great cuts" see my competition "great clips"... well that's the same as stealing my traffic.

And if "great clips" has a full page ad, well that's even more blatant theft of my prospects.

Also, what if the user searching for "body solutions" was really looking for "body solutions" competitors for similar products because he felt body solutions products ****** or were to expensive?
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Old 01-31-2002, 06:33 PM   #3
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hologram : your yellow pages analogy isnt quite right..

you dont search in the YP for "great cuts" - you search for "barbers" - which is not your trademark.

on a PPC engine, you search for "body solutions" which is a trademark, and the PPC is using it for their own gain. I would think they have a case, but im not sure..

Lets say I had a website called "coolfireworks.com" about fireworks and stuff, unrelated to fictional company "cool fireworks", but they could come and claim that domain off me. Same situation here, except with a PPC engine we arent dealing with whoever it is that sets the rules for domain disputes (I dont remember the name now) - so I guess that analogy is pretty flawed too!
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Old 02-01-2002, 05:57 AM   #4
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------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"on a PPC engine, you search for "body solutions" which is a trademark, and the PPC is using it for their own gain. I would think they have a case, but im not sure.."
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Yes, of course they use it for their own gain... but they make that gain by providing a service.. they didn't hijack that companies branded name, they simply offer pay per click based results.

Google for instance shows many bodysolutions competitors throughout their results for a search on "body solutions". And they run Google Ad words as well. So, their ranking algorthim is bringing them 'users' who like their service and they can make money selling Google Ad words. And they attract those 'users' by providing results.. including bodysolutions.com competitors.

What's the difference really between Googles rankings algorthim of x,y,z and Overture's of 15c, 10c, 5c if both end up showing competitors of bodysolutions.com?

There's no way to prove 100% that any search "intent" for "body solutions" was done with the sole intention of only finding bodysolutions.com and not a competitors better price or reearching related products etc.

They are going after the PPC's instead of the specific advertisers they claim are stealing. They make no claim that other sites are competing unfairly.. e.g. making erroneous claims or defaming their product. Simply targeting 'their' brand words.
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Old 02-01-2002, 11:56 AM   #5
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All of the trademark / copyright cases Playboy has won point to this one being won as well.

The good will of the trademark is being abused...
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Old 02-01-2002, 07:09 PM   #6
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Boy does this sound familiar....

I have a SE site that I haven't done much with in quite some time. I was using SearchFuel for their so-called "metasearch". I was contacted by a law firm representing a uniform manufacturer who's competition was buying keywords which included this company's name.
I'm sure most of you are familiar with metasearch engines, so I don't need to explain beyond the fact that they do not maintain a database & only use the results of other search engines.
Needless to say, there was nothing they could do with me when I called 'em on it. They would have to contact SearchFuel, who would then tell them that they needed to contact the other search engines.
I have not been contacted since.

In my opinion, it's all fair game. Whoever has the money to spend on keywords, gets the traffic...as much as I resent not being able to compete...it's the real world...

I agree with the point that people may search for a companies name only to find their competition...I do this fairly often when I can't think of a generic name for something...

Side note - does SearchFuel pay??
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Old 02-02-2002, 05:44 PM   #7
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I live about a mile form Body Solutions, personally I hope they lose. For those that are not familiar with them, their claims are that if you do not eat 3 hours before bed, and take thier supplements, that you can lose about 5 pounds a month. The truth is that they choose to ignore is that if you do not eat 3 hours before bed and DO NOT take thier over priced junk, you will still lose 5 pounds a month. But yet they continue to take advantage of peoples insecurities.

my thoughts

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Old 02-07-2002, 01:45 AM   #8
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In FindWhat they already come top, and there are no bids on their term.

In Overture, there are some bids

Altavista not top either

Also interesting is how often the term "body solutions" is searched on, a a few thousand searches per month (bet you it goes up now!) last month in FW + Overture according to their suggestion tool.

I am very curious how a few thousand searches would be calculated as being $10m of actual damages even if this had been going on a long time.

Altavista is perhaps the most interesting. If all search engines are to become obligated to return the "correct" result top, then they have a virtually impossible mountain to climb, as I doubt any search engine could be made that accurate

Another question, if they say they must be top of their term, it would only be a minor extension to say they should be the only result.

By the same argument that people are trading off the trademark by being higher listed, even lower listed items would be also trading off the trademark...?

By the way what if we take this to it's logical conclusion...

Do we expect every search engine to integrate trademark search into every bid (for paid listings) and ranking algorithms for the spiders?

What if more than one entity has the same or similar trademark? For example. Apple Computer, Apple Music

I hope they lose as to me, it (a) seems a massive extension of their trademarks rights to say any use of the term Body Solutions in any context (as opposed to specifically weight loss context) must be about their stuff, and (b) if they win, all the search engines might as well shut up shop as I can't see how they avoid being buried under these type of lawsuits, if potentially every trademark holder could claim the same thing.
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