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US Court Orders Company to Use Negative Keywords 177

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the negative-ghostrider-the-pattern-is-full dept.
A US court has ordered a firm to utilize negative adwords in their internet advertising. "Orion Bancorp took Orion Residential Finance (ORF) to court in Florida over ORF's use of the word 'Orion' in relation to financial services and products, arguing that it had used the term since 2002 and had held a trade mark for it since then. [...] The judge in the case went further, though, restraining ORF from 'purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords or "adwords" in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff's Mark, or any confusingly similar mark, and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term "Orion" as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used.'"
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US Court Orders Company to Use Negative Keywords

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  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:19PM (#23302460) Journal
    fyi Bootes is a constellation with the giant void.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootes
  • by Zeinfeld (263942) on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:20PM (#23302480) Homepage
    There was a pretty clear claim for trademark infringement here. The court very reasonably found that ORF was trading on Orion's reputation.

    Having made that finding the court is quite reasonably penalizing ORF. It is quite reasonable for an injunction to penalize ORF after they clearly took advantage of Orion's reputation.

    And any company that does not show up in court when served with papers is likely to find that they end up saddled with onerous terms in any case.

  • by techpawn (969834) on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:29PM (#23302594) Journal
    Translation:
    The judge in the case went further, though, restraining
    IF
    restraining ORF from 'purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords ||
    ('adwords' in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff's Mark &&
    hall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term 'Orion' as negative keywords) ||
    negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used.
    END

    I may need to debug that...
  • by alta (1263) on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:32PM (#23302622) Homepage Journal
    thanks, that helps.
  • by jeiler (1106393) <go.bugger.off@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:53PM (#23302872) Journal
    Under normal circumstances I'd agree completely, but since ORF didn't show up at court, their odds of winning an appeal are slim to none.
  • by elb (49623) * on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:57PM (#23302926)
    Forget RTFA, did you even read the original post?

    "and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term 'Orion' as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used".


    the judge specifically said "internet advertising". and s/he used the phrase "keywords, adwords, or the like". to suggest that the ruling applies only to google adwords is flagrant trolling. i don't know how anyone could possibly interpret the statement in the ruling as being constrained to google.

    sheesh. how this got modded "interesting" is beyond me.
  • by thebdj (768618) on Monday May 05, 2008 @01:58PM (#23302934) Journal

    If ORF was calling themselves "Kleenex" or some other brand name, that would be understandable
    Actually, thanks to a little something known as genericized trademark [wikipedia.org], they actually wouldn't be in too much trouble if their name were Kleenex. It could be easily argued that Kleenex is genericized since the word is almost synonymous with tissues now. Trademark law works quite interesting in that manner. If you do not properly defend your mark and it becomes "generic" then your rights to the mark could be lost. (Now, if only we adopted a similar measure with Patents but that is a different story.)
  • by DECS (891519) on Monday May 05, 2008 @03:09PM (#23303792) Homepage Journal
    Anytime a trademark gets an indefinite article, it's in risk of being a common term.

    Nobody is likely to ask a friend for "Kleenex," hoping to get a specific brand of tissue, but it is common to ask for "a kleenex," just as somebody might ask for "a bandaid."

    People in various places also refer to "a frigidaire" or "a coke," and plenty of terms that started out as trademarks have been lost to common words: aspirin, cellophane, dumpster, escalator, nylon, linoleum, thermos, velcro, zipper.
  • This ignores the law (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 05, 2008 @05:28PM (#23305152)
    This post ignores trademark law and precedent. There wasn't any confusion until ORF intentionally tried to cause confusion by choosing the name "Orion xxx". They could have picked any other name in the world, and if they had hired a decent lawyer they would have.

    If I start "Skiff Bank" then build it up, then several years later someone starts "Skiff Financial Services" then absolutely that's a trademark infringement. Stop stealing my name, SFS, and go pick your own name instead of trying to confuse the public into walking into your store because the public has a good impression of my name.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Monday May 05, 2008 @07:45PM (#23306292) Homepage Journal

    What do you expect with Perl crap from the early 90s, you think they've heard of unicode and character encoding?
    Actually, yes they have. People were abusing left-to-right and right-to-left control characters [wikipedia.org] it to destroy the layout of Slashdot comment pages, including spoofing a comment's score. Open this comment [slashdot.org] and show the hidden replies to see an example of what was going wrong. So the developers modified the SLASH software to strip out all Unicode characters that aren't on a whitelist.

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