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Update 30: May 15, 2005

1. Click Fraud Collusion

A consortium of advertisers (led by Lane's Collectibles) have filed a class action suit in Arkansas against Yahoo, Google and 9 other search engines in February, accusing the Search companies of over pricing ads and colluding to keep ad prices high. The lawsuit also alleges that Internet search engine companies knowingly charged for fraudulent clicks.

In the pay-per-click model that Google and Yahoo use, advertisers pay each time a user "clicks through" on an ad listed alongside search engine results. But the number of clicks with ill intents is rising.  A fraudulent clicker can rack up fees for a business rival or try to generate ad revenue for himself. Last November Google filed a suit against Auctions Expert International LLC for clicking on ads Google supplied to the company's site.

Click fraud has become a growing problem in the search industry. Google even said it is "the biggest threat to the Internet economy." Google and Yahoo won't give a public estimate of the number of bad clicks. Some people estimate that between 5% and 13% of all clicks are fraudulent and for some key words on certain search engines as many as 80% of clicks might be fraudulent. Google refunds advertisers for "unusual clicks" and "invalid click activity".

Lan's filed the lawsuit February 4 and the defendants on March 30 asked that the case be moved from state court to federal court.


  • April 5, 2005: Google and Yahoo! accused of click fraud collusion, The Register:
    "Google, Yahoo! and other players in the search business have become embroiled in a lawsuit which involves overcharging for pay-per-click online advertising."

  • April 5, 2005: Google & Co. im Zusammenhang mit Klickbetrug verklagt, Heise:
    "In den USA sind insgesamt elf namhafte Internet-Firmen -- darunter Google, Yahoo, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Lycos und Walt Disney Online -- wegen angeblicher Unregelmäßigkeiten bei der Vermarktung von Online-Anzeigen verklagt worden."


2. "G-mail" becomes "Google Mail" in Germany

Google has changed the name of their German email service, because Daniel Giersch owns the rights to "G-Mail" in Germany and has no plans to release the naming rights to Google. Google will now call the German service "Google Mail".


3. What happened to "We are not evil" - Google v. Froogles

The website - registered in December 2000 by Mr. Wolfe- seeks to attract "frugal" shoppers by offering a wide variety of quality merchandise at discounted or sale prices. In 2002 Google launched a comparison-shopping site of its own, called In Google's pending application to register the mark FROOGLE in the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("PTO"), Mr. Wolfe filed a Notice of Opposition on March 24, 2004, thus angering Google.

Google asked an arbitration panel of the ICANN (the domain name organization) to not allow to use the domain because it was "confusingly similar" to Google. The panel ruled in Wolfe's favour. According to the panel, the domain name is not confusingly similar to the GOOGLE mark.  The dissimilar letters in the domain name are sufficiently different to make it distinguishable from the GOOGLE mark because the domain name creates an entirely new word and conveys an entirely singular meaning from the mark. The decision can be found at:

Google now has filed suit against Froogles in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn alleging trademark infringment. In the suit, Google claims that it is the "senior user of marks that incorporate the formative " -- OOGLE" for Internet search services."

The Complaint can be found at:


4. The next AdWords trademark lawsuit against Google!

Another Adwords lawsuit was filed against Google by JTH Tax on April 4th. In February 2005 the plaintiff learned that an use of its trademark "Liberty Tax Service" appeared in the title of the online Google Ad Words ad that directs users to another website called "Free Advice", which is a website unrelated to Liberty Tax Service. Google did not respond to the demand to remove the link. Google's trademark infringement policy says that ads containing third party trademarks will be taken down. Why Google didn't react in this case, remains unclear.

The lawsuit was brought before the United States District Court Eastern District of Virginia Norfolk Devision. The complaint can be found at:

5. Update

Nissan Motor is suing Nissan Computer for Trademark Infringement, Trademark Dilution and CyberSquatting, seeking 10 Million Dollars in damages. Links & Law has reported about the case in the past (see Update 25 for more details). The latest development is as follows: The Nissan Motor Co appealed the summer 2004 decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, firstly to the Court of Appeals and then to the US Supreme Court. Both appeals have now been rejected.

  • April 20, 2005: Supreme Court rejects appeal,
    "The US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by car giant Nissan Motor Co over the domain names and, following a decision by a California Appeals Court not to order the transfer of the domains, according to the Los Angeles Times."


New in Legal Resources

  • Dockins, Michael. Comment. Internet links: the good, the bad, the tortious, and a two-part test. 36 U. Tol. L. Rev. 367-404 (2005).

  • Pühringer, Alexandra, Hyperlinks and Law, MR-Int 2004, 17-20

  • Peguera, Miquel, Spanish report on the Liability of internet intermediaries, UOC, 2004

  • Weber, Rolf , Rechtsfragen rund um Suchmaschinen, ZIK Band 24, 2003

  • Elteste, Hyperlinks auf Konkurrenten, ITRB 2001, 210

  • Dippelhofer, Mischa, Haftung für Hyperlinks, 2004

New in Decisions

  • LG Hamburg, Decision of April 22, 2005, Az. 315 O 260/05

    Die Benutzung von Markennamen bei der Verwendung von Doorway Pages / Cloaking verstößt gegen das Marken- und Wettbewerbsrecht  

    (Anmerkung: Beschluss im einstweiligen Rechtsschutz ohne Entscheidungsgründe)


  • LG München, Decision of March 7, 2005, Az: 21 O 3220/05

    Urteil zum Verbot der Verlinkung der Webseite des Herstellers einer Software zur Umgehung eines Kopierschutzes im Rahmen einer Presseberichterstattung (Heise-Verlag)



The Links & Law website is updated regularily, so  check back for updated information and resources about search engine and linking issues.

You are currently in the archive with older news. A complete list of the updates can be found here!

Latest News - Update 71

Legal trouble for YouTube in Germany

Germany: Employer may google job applicant

EU: Consultation on the E-Commerce-Directive

WIPO Paper on tradmarks and the internet

The ECJ and the AdWords Cases



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