Nothing gained?

Originally posted 2009-02-25 10:33:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

UPDATE:  I have further thoughts about what is almost certainly the real motivating factor behind Jones Day’s actions in connection with their obviously frivolous lawsuit against BlockShopper, and I have moved them to my other blog, because they are not necessarily on topic.  But you must start with Paul Alan Levy’s original blog post if you want to get your arms around this situation.

Sam Bayard sums up “thoughts on the Jones Day-BlockShopper Settlement”:

So what did Jones Day get out of the settlement?  Not much actually.  BlockShopper agreed not to use “embedded links” back to the law firm’s website.  Thus, as Wendy Davis explains in her insightful Slate article: “instead of posting ‘Tiedt is an associate,’ the site will write ‘Tiedt (http://www.jonesday.com/jtiedt/) is an associate.'” Essentially, Jones Day weathered a PR nightmare just to force BlockShopper to use a clunky, aesthetically displeasing linking style — woo hoo. . . .

[Paul] Levy, for one, is not taking this sitting down.  His post ends with a call to Internet users to fight back against Jones Day “by repeatedly deep-linking from its name, and to its web site, in precisely the ways to which it objects.”  I hope that Paul is right that, faced with provocation on a massive scale, Jones Day would have to accept the ultimate weakness of its trademark claim and stop its bullying.  But, Judge Darrah’s ruling upholding Jones Day’s complaint on BlockShopper’s motion to dismiss worries me.  Is it an aberration or just a possible take on poorly developed law?  Like Robert Ambrogi, who queries whether the law is as clear as Levy would like it to be, I fear that trademark law itself may be lagging behind the pervasive technological and cultural practice of the day.  That said, one of the beauties of a common law legal system is that it can adapt.

That’s optimistic, all right.  Well, why not be optimistic?  District Court judges have lifetime tenure, but lifetimes themselves have terms.

Tiedt is an associate,” as they say.UPDATE:  I like Ryan Giles‘s version of how the settlement would play out:

[I]nstead of writing something like “Jones Day’s frivolous and abusive lawsuit was brought by Paul W. Schroeder, Irene S. Fiorentinos, Meredith M. Wilkes, Robert P. Ducatman, and James W. Walworth Jr”, Blockshopper would instead have to write it as “Jones Day’s (http://www.jonesday.com/) frivolous and abusive lawsuit was brought by Paul W. Schroeder (http://jonesday.com/pwschroeder/), Irene S. Fiorentinos (http://jonesday.com/ifiorentinos/), Meredith M. Wilkes (http://jonesday.com/mwilkes/), Robert P. Ducatman (http://jonesday.com/rducatman/), and James W. Walworth Jr (http://jonesday.com/jwwalworthjr/).” Blockshopper has restored the links to the condos purchased by the Jones Day associates at issue. Blockshopper will now also have a page which explains why Jones Day gets treated so special and which describes the lawsuit.

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Author:Ron Coleman

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  1. Ron Coleman - February 25, 2009

    LIKELY / CONFUSION Nothing gained?: Sam Bayard sums up “thoughts on the Jones Day-BlockS.. http://tinyurl.com/cfft8d

  2. Ron Coleman - February 25, 2009

    LIKELY / CONFUSION Nothing gained?: Sam Bayard sums up “thoughts on the Jones Day-BlockS.. http://tinyurl.com/cfft8d

  3. Link me, link me not - February 25, 2009

    [...] I blogged at LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® about what Sam Bayard explains masterfully as the settlement of Jones Day’s trademark lawsuit against real estate news site BlockShopper.com. In the lawsuit, Jones Day alleged that BlockShopper infringed and/or diluted its trademark by using the name “Jones Day” to identify two of its associates who purchased homes in Chicago and by using anchor text in hyperlinks from each associate’s name back to their lawyer bios on Jones Day’s own website (here, here). [...]

  4. Walter Olson - February 28, 2009

    Further thoughts on Jones Day/Blockshopper case (site sued for linking): Cit Media Law http://bit.ly/5g5ri Ron Coleman http://bit.ly/hy0Op

  5. Update: BlockShopper settles with Jones Day - April 6, 2009

    [...] Paul Alan Levy/CL&P, Ron Coleman, Sam Bayard/Citizen Media [...]

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