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.

DEFENDANT SERVICEMAGIC, INC.’S ANSWER, AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSES AND COUNTERCLAIMS:

ANGIE’S LIST’S ANSWER TO SERVICEMAGIC’S COUNTERCLAIMS:

Angie’s List v. ServiceMagic – Answers and Counterclaims Filed

There are a few updates in Indiana’s first keyword advertising case, Angie’s List v. ServiceMagic. The lawsuit is still in the early stages, with Answers and Counterclaims being filed. An Initial Pretrial Conference is set for 10/12/2012 so stay tuned for updates.

ServiceMagic Answer, Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaims:

Angie’s List Answer to Counterclaims:

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

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 Ask.com, Match.com 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