Trial Scheduled for Indiana’s First Keyword Advertising Case

Indiana’s first keyword advertising case is now set for trial. However, don’t hold your breath if you’re waiting for an answer to whether the purchase and use of a competitor’s trademark in keyword advertising is trademark infringement. The Angie’s List/ServiceMagic trial won’t take place for over a year.

On May 6, a Scheduling Order set a bench trial for October 6, 2014 (at 9:30 AM in Room #216, United States Courthouse, 46 E. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana before Judge Sarah Evans Barker). A settlement conference was held  between the parties in February 2013 but no settlement was reached. Based on the importance of this question to the parties involved, I expect this case to go to trial, however long that may take.

In the meantime, you can review the Answer to Complaint and Answer to Counterclaims below. Stay tuned for updates.



Indiana man ordered to pay over $150,000 in download case

The first of the Indiana download cases has proceeded to a Final Judgment and the damage amount awarded by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson won’t please the hundreds of other Indiana defendants still facing a default judgment. After he failed to present a defense to the illegal download of “Maryjane’s Second Visit”, a Default Judgment was entered against the Defendant. The damage award, which includes the maximum allowable copyright damages, tallied in at $151,425. No matter your view on pornography or copyright infringement, that’s a pretty steep fine for the digital equivalent of sneaking in the back door of a nudie show.

What do you think of the judgment? Did the Judge apply discretion in awarding the maximum amount? Either way, Judge Magnus-Stinson has now provided the other Indiana download defendants with an upper limit on how much they should spend on a defense.

Stories from the Week that Was – 7/8/12-7/14/12

Here are the top stories I followed this week:

Ukrainian Students Develop Gloves That Translate Sign Language Into Speech

Officials: Past 12 months warmest ever for U.S.

Accused of downloading porn, Kentucky woman sues the pornographers

Here comes Skynet: Army drones almost ready to share sky with airlines

That’s Not My Phone, It’s My Tracker

What were your top stories of the week? Leave a comment below.

Stories from the Week that Was – 7/1/12-7/7/12

Here are the top stories I followed this week:

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Patent Bullies Can Hit and Run

Defunct copyright troll Righthaven seeks resurrection

Hold Your Flow! Yoga Sequences Not Copyrightable

Drones decimating Taliban in Pakistan

U.S. drone ‘hijackings’ raise security concerns

Charles Carreon drops lawsuit against @TheOatmeal’s Matthew Inman

Facebook Users Hijack Walmart Campaign to Exile Pitbull to Remote Island

Yahoo and Facebook settle patent lawsuit with strategic deal

“Man is a slow, sloppy and brilliant thinker; the machine is fast, accurate and stupid.”  ~William M. Kelly

Stories from the Week that Was – 6/24/12-6/30/12

Here are the top stories I followed this week:

Indiana Court Upholds Social Media Ban for Sex Offenders

USPTO seeks to intervene in publisher’s copyright infringement suit against law firm

FTC v. Myspace Part II – The Takeaways

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Nike trademark case

“As far as I’m concerned, progress peaked with frozen pizza.” -Die Hard 2, spoken by the character John McClane

Stories from the Week that Was – 6/17/12-6/23/12

A week spent getting caught up from vacation. I had a great time giving a seminar at the office on Tuesday, Trademark and Brand Protection for Communicators. Look out for more of those in the future. It’s also about time to start preparing for Art & Museum Law, so expect more art world news in these posts in the upcoming months. Here are the top stories I followed this week:

Google reports ‘alarming’ rise in government censorship requests

Why brands are leaning towards minimalism

More Download Cases filed in Indiana

Washington’s 5 Worst Arguments for Keeping Secrets From You

U.S. rejects requests for documents regarding targeted killings with drones

Supreme Court cops out, again, on “fleeting expletives”

Louisiana Sex Offenders Must List Status on Social Media Profile

“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men.  No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.” -Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams, 1923

Stories from the Week that Was – 6/10/12-6/16/12

I spent this week in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love. It was my first visit and I have to say the place is top-rate. Some of the best museums you can imagine and the C-SPAN junkie in me was absolutely thrilled to walk inside Congress Hall, location of the first U.S. House and Senate from 1790-1800. But just because I’m out sightseeing doesn’t mean the news stops. Here are the top stories I followed this week:

Indiana finally has its own keyword advertising case

$176 million unmanned drone crashes in Maryland

Twitter Takes a New Approach to Avoid Patent Litigation

The NLRB’s Dos And Don’ts For Employer Social Media Policies

US elections 2012: top 50 Twitter accounts to follow

Downloaders take heed, Indiana’s first BitTorrent download case – CP Productions v. John Doe

These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America

Comcast: Don’t “Shake Down” Our Customers

Got another big story from this week that I missed? Leave a comment below.

“He snatched the lightning from the sky and the sceptre from tyrants” – Anne-Robert-Jacques Turgot, speaking of Benjamin Franklin

Stories from the Week that Was – 6/3/12-6/9/12

New reasons to protect trademarks through registration

Tech-Savvy Seniors: Half of U.S. Adults Over 65 Are Online

Purdue Professor Claims Free Speech Rights Violated Over Facebook Post

Crypto breakthrough shows Flame was designed by world-class scientists

Got another big story from this week that should make the list? Leave a comment below.

“I am sorry to say that there is too much point to the wisecrack that life is extinct on other planets because their scientists were more advanced than ours.” -John F. Kennedy

Twitter’s first commercial:


Indiana Trademark Litigation Update – Angie’s List v. ServiceMagic

Indiana finally has its own keyword advertising case!

Local internet powerhouse Angie’s List accuses ServiceMagic of using the “Angie’s List” trademark as a keyword in some of its Google AdWords sponsored link advertisements. While several courts around the country have ruled on this issue, in Indiana it is still undetermined whether the purchase and use of a competitor’s trademark in keyword advertising is trademark infringement.

For those unfamiliar with keyword advertising, see the image below. ServiceMagic pays Google to appear in the “Ads related to” box at the top of the search results for the term “Angie’s List,” directly below Angie’s List’s official site. Big companies hate this practice and small competitors love it. Google really loves it, because advertising is where Google gets a big chunk of their revenue. We’ll soon find out what the Southern District of Indiana, via Judge Sarah Evans Barker, thinks about it.

This is no David and Goliath story either. ServiceMagic’s parent company IAC owns many major web products, including, and Vimeo.

Stay tuned for updates as the case proceeds.

Angie’s List Inc. v. Servicemagic Inc.

Court Case Number:    1:12-cv-00755-SEB-TAB
File Date:    Friday, June 01, 2012
Plaintiff:     Angie’s List Inc.
Plaintiff Counsel:     George A. Gasper, Michael A. Wukmer, Bradley M. Stohry of Ice Miller LLP
Defendant:     ServiceMagic Inc.
Cause:    Trademark Infringement, Unfair Competition, Trade Disparagement, Trademark Dilution, Common Law Unfair Competition, Unjust Enrichment, Request for Preliminary and Permanent Injunctive Relief
Court:    Southern District of Indiana
Judge:     Judge Sarah Evans Barker
Referred To: Magistrate Judge Tim A. Baker

Stories from the Week that Was – 5/27/12-6/2/12

China tightens grip on social media with new rules

TV Networks Say You’re Breaking The Law When You Skip Commercials

Germany sets new solar power record, institute says

Got Compliance? The EU Cookie Law & What You Need to Do

Google Applies for More than 50 New Domains Including .LOL and .YouTube

Target on your cyber back: DHS has a list of words deemed ‘suspicious’

Man sues to have ‘Google’ declared a generic word

Privacy practices: how the FTC MySpace settlement affects your business

2012 Logo Trends

Google Obliges Website Copyright Takedown Requests 97% of the Time

NLRB Issues Third Social Media Report

From David Elliott’s Complaint for Cancellation of Trademark and Declaratory Relief:

“3. The term “GOOGLE” is, or has become, a generic term universally used to describe the action of internet searching with any search engine, which cannot serve as a trademark to the exclusion of others.”