Wed, Oct 31, 2007
Denies Motion To Dismiss
A somewhat unusual case involving
copyright infringement, brought on by American Airlines against
internet mega-search provider Google, will be allowed to continue,
after a federal court judge denied a motion to dismiss the case
"We are pleased by the judge's order denying Google's motion to
dismiss our claims," American Airlines spokesman Tim Wagner said to
ComputerWorld.com. "American would not have brought its lawsuit
against Google if we did not believe in the merits of our claims,
and the court's order ... ensures that we will have an opportunity
to develop and pursue those claims."
As ANN reported, American
sued Google in August, alleging Google of selling search words
involving the carrier's name. The lawsuit is the latest in a string
of cases brought by businesses; all argue Google's advertising
system is used unfairly by competitors to "steal" business.
Google's pay-per-click system is the company's main source of
revenue, and Google has prevailed in similar lawsuits -- including
one by auto insurer GEICO. The airline accused Google of violating
trademark laws by selling search terms such as "AA.com" or
"American Airlines" to other businesses for advertising
In his decision Friday, US District Court Judge John McBride
gave no reason for denying Google's motion... leaving the case open
to speculation as to how it will all turn out, according to a blog
post by Eric Goldman, assistant professor and director of the High
Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.
Google was disappointed with McBride's ruling.
"While we were disappointed that the court denied our motion to
dismiss, we believe that the American Airlines trademark suit lacks
merit," a Google spokesman said. "Google's trademark policy strikes
a proper balance between trademark owners' interests and consumer
choice and has been validated by prior court decisions."
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