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Obama campaign sues web site over Barack Obama merchandise

June 4, 2012barack obama, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Policy & Law, trademark infringementComments Off on Obama campaign sues web site over Barack Obama merchandise

Obama campaign files lawsuit over Obama merchandise featuring “rising sun” logo.

Obama Rising sunObama for America has filed a second lawsuit against DemStore.com and Washington Promotions & Printing, Inc., which allegedly sell merchandise including the campaign’s “rising sun” trademark. (A quick look at DemStore.com confirms this.)

The suit (pdf) was filed in U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, on June 1.

Obama for American previously filed a suit against the defendants in October 2011. In January it asked the court to dismiss the case without prejudice.

The campaign says that DemStore.com’s sales of Obama merchandise hurt it on multiple fronts. First, it says sales of “rising sun” merchandise make up a significant amount of Obama for America’s revenue. Second, it says each time a supporter makes a small purchase on the BarackObama.com web site, it’s able to contact the customer’s contact information. It can then use that contact information to “reach out to that individual repeatedly to seek further donations…”


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Lead Gen Company Reply! Sued for Trademark Infringement

July 5, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, lead generation, Policy & Law, reply!, trademark infringementComments Off on Lead Gen Company Reply! Sued for Trademark Infringement

Air conditioning company sues over Adwords search terms and logo use.

Online lead generation company Reply! Inc has been sued by air conditioning company Carrier for alleged trademark infringement (pdf).

Reply generates and sells leads to various businesses, including air conditioning contractors. It buys ads on Google and other search engines, including for the term “Carrier”:

When users click on the Adwords ad, they land at a page with the Carrier logo offering air conditioning quotes:

Carrier is upset about Reply bidding on its brand on Google, using its logo on the landing page, and using carrier.reply.com as a “domain name”. It says that the quote form isn’t actually to just compare Carrier units, but air conditioning in general.

The company alleges “cyberpiracy prevention” on the use of carrier.reply.com. One of the suggested remedies is for Reply to transfer the carrier.reply.com domain name. But it’s not actually a transferable domain; it’s just a subdomain or third level domain name.

Interestingly, it appears that Reply is using a fake URL in its Adwords campaigns. If you click the ad it brings you to a different landing page that isn’t carrier.reply.com. Reply wildcards any subdomain to its homepage. Try typing in something.reply.com to see.

A lot of lead generation companies using brand logos and bid on brand search terms even though they are selling leads not for one specific brand. It will be interesting to see if this reverberates in the lead gen business.


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