Taking a look at Google’s latest quarterly report (and, No, I don’t…Sob!…own any Google stock), I am reminded how often a large company like Google gets sued, and not just by litigious Americans:
Certain companies have filed trademark infringement and related claims against us over the display of ads in response to user queries that include trademark terms. The outcomes of these lawsuits have differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Courts in France have held us liable for allowing advertisers to select certain trademarked terms as keywords. We are appealing those decisions. We were also subject to two lawsuits in Germany on similar matters where the courts held that we are not liable for the actions of our advertisers prior to notification of trademark rights. We are litigating or recently have litigated similar issues in other cases in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Israel and Austria. Adverse results in these lawsuits may result in, or even compel, a change in this practice which could result in a loss of revenue for us, which could harm our business.
Certain entities have also filed intellectual property claims against us, alleging that features of certain of our products, including Google Web Search, Google News, Google Image Search, and Google Book Search, infringe their rights. Adverse results in these lawsuits may include awards of damages and may also result in, or even compel, a change in our business practices, which could result in a loss of revenue for us or otherwise harm our business.
From time to time, we may also become a party to other litigation and subject to claims incident to the ordinary course of business, including intellectual property claims (in addition to the trademark and copyright matters noted above), labor and employment claims, breach of contract claims, and other matters…
This prompted me to do a nicely self-referential Google search on “v Google” to see what popped up:
Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc.
…Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc., et al….was a U.S. court case between an adult men’s magazine and the world’s leading search engine company, decided by the district court of the Central District of California in early 2006. The plaintiff requested an injunction for Google to stop creating and distributing thumbnails of its images in its Google Image Search service, and for it to stop indexing and linking to sites hosting such images. The court granted the request in part and denied it in part, ruling that the thumbnails were infringing but the links were not.
GEICO v. Google
…GEICO has filed suit against two major Internet search engine operators, Google Inc. and Overture Services Inc., in an effort to suppress advertising by competing insurance companies and online insurance brokers.
FIELD v. GOOGLE
…Field contends that by allowing Internet users to access copies of 51 of his copyrighted works stored by Google in an online repository, Google violated Field’s exclusive rights to reproduce copies and distribute copies of those works.
Lane’s Gifts v. Google
…You may remember that last February, Google was sued in Arkansas over what is commonly called click fraud. We’re very near a resolution in that case, so we thought we’d offer an update…Google currently allows advertisers to apply for reimbursement for clicks they believe are invalid. They can do this for clicks that happen during the 60 days prior to notifying Google. Under the agreement with the plaintiffs, we are going to open up that window for all advertisers, regardless of when the questionable clicks occurred.
Gonzales v. Google, Inc.
…The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion in federal court seeking a court order that would compel search engine company Google, Inc. to turn over “a multi-stage random sample of one million URL’s” from Google’s database, and a computer file with “the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a one-week period (absent any information identifying the person who entered such query
Authors Guild v. Google
…Class Action Lawsuit Alleging Copyright Infringement
PARKER v GOOGLE, INC.
…The eleven claims are: (1) direct copyright infringement, (2) contributory copyright infringement, (3) vicarious copyright infringement, (4) defamation, (5) invasion of privacy, (6) negligence, (7) Lanham Act violations, (8) and (9) racketeering, (10) abuse of process, and (11) civil conspiracy.
KinderStart.com v. Google
…Google has been sued for downgrading the PageRank of websites in contravention of its stated “objective” policies. In KinderStart’s case, they got kicked out of Google in March 2005 and immediately lost 70% of their traffic. Google is now 0.01% of KinderStart’s referral traffic.
Toback v. Google
…Sensing that his 15 minutes of fame was up, Jeffrey Toback has withdrawn his lawsuit against Google regarding Google’s alleged facilitation of child pornography.
Agence France Press v. Google Inc.
…The French news agency AFP (Agence France-Presse) sued Google Inc. before the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., for pulling together photos and story excerpts from thousands of news Web sites (see Update 29). In its brief filed Oct. 12 Google argued that news headlines that are purely factual and merely ten words long lack sufficient orginality to preclude others from copying them. Google also seeks dismissal of the lawsuit on the ground that Agence France has failed to identify the allegedly infringed works with sufficient precision.
McGraw-Hill v. Google
…McGraw-Hill v. Google is the latest publisher lawsuit against the Google Library Project (via Copyfight). The complaint seems basic, again claiming the project is copyright infringement.
Digital Envoy, Inc. v. Google, Inc
Google has won a case brought against it by a specialist in location technology, News.com reports. A district judge in northern California last month dismissed a lawsuit filed by Digital Envoy that alleged that Google was in breach of a contract and was illegally profiting from Digital Envoy’s software. Digital Envoy owns software that pinpoints the
physical locations of Internet surfers to deliver advertisements.
And from Lexis-Nexis (no links…sorry!) I also came up with:
Advanced Internet Techs., Inc. v. Google, Inc
…Google sells advertising online. The plaintiffs in the present action allege that Google has fraudulently over-billed those who purchase advertising from it on a per-click basis.
NETJUMPER SOFTWARE v. GOOGLE, INC
…Plaintiff, NetJumper, Inc…initiated this lawsuit, in which it complained that Google, through an application of its “Google Toolbar, had infringed upon two of its patents…
Elwell v. Google, Inc
…Elwell challenges her demotion and reduction in pay during a high-risk pregnancy
Search King, Inc. v. Google Tech., Inc
…This case involves the interrelationship between Internet search engines and Internet advertising, and their collective connection to the First Amendment. More specifically, the questions at issue are whether a representation of the relative significance of a web site as it corresponds to a search query is a form of protected speech, and if so, whether the “speaker” is therefore insulated [*2] from tort liability arising out of the intentional manipulation of such a representation under Oklahoma law.
And lastly, we have:
SEC v. Google
in a case involving flagrant stock fraud:
…This is an action for permanent injunction, accounting, and for the surrender of monies received in connection with…Company’s unregistered public offering and sale of securities.
Involved in stock fraud!!!
How could I not have know about this?
This warranted some further investigation. Using my much-heralded skills as a researcher, I determined the full name of the case:
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION, Plaintiff, VS. JONATHAN N. GOOGLE
No doubt, Jonathan N. will soon be suing the Google corporate namesake for dragging his good name through the mud.
Or should it be the other way around…?
pafalafaga Dave Sarokin