Friday, March 18, 2005


Google Loses French Trademark Appeal, Ordered to Pay $100,300 in Damages to Two Companies

This does not make any sense to me. Perhaps someone with a better sense of trademark law could explain the logic of the French court. I don't know why the plaintiff would complain if a google user is attempting to find his company through a search engine. To me, whatever Google wants to do with its own product is up to Google. The plaintiff's company's name is in the public realm and there is no indication that a person who is searching the name of the company is desiring to do business with the company, much less easilly swayed by a rival's advertisment.

I would like to see more of the court's reasoning on why they ruled against Google on this case.

PARIS (AP) -- A French appeals court upheld a ruling against Google's advertising policy in a decision published Wednesday, ordering the Internet search engine to pay euro75,000 (US$100,300) in damages to two companies whose trademarks it infringed.

The court in Versailles, west of Paris, found that Google Inc. was guilty of "trademark counterfeiting" and ordered it to pay the damages originally awarded to French travel companies Luteciel and Viaticum, as well as costs.

The companies' founder, Fabrice Dariot, filed the suit because Google users carrying out searches on the names of their registered trademarks including "Bourse des Vols" -- which means "Flights Marketplace" -- were offered ads for rival companies such as low-cost airline easyJet.

In October 2003, the lower court had ordered Google to stop showing rival 'sponsored links' in response to searches on Dariot's trademarks and later fined Google when it failed to comply in time.

Google Loses French Trademark Appeal



Poor Ward Churchill, he can't help it: An anti-American hack can't get a break these days

Ward Churchill has caused a firestorm over the last couple of months. He is emblematic of what is wrong and obscene with college academics. His shameful, profane attacks on 9/11 victims and his subsequent martyrdom shows how the "ivory tower" just doesn't get it. In addition, Churchill has faced accusations of academic fraud and misrepresenting his cultural heritage. Churchill and none of his supporters have given any sort of concrete or cogent defense.

The Associated Press was able to get a 2 hour sit-down interview with the normally recalcitrant Churchill. How did the reporter get the embattled professor to agree to such an interview? One can guess that the interview was pitched as an opportunity for Churchill to get ahead of the curve, make his arguments and rehabilitate his image courtesy of a sympathetic journalist. Who knows.

Here are some excerpts of the interview. Do you think these passages are sympathtic or unquestioning of Churchill?

In a two-hour interview with The Associated Press, Churchill, 57, said he won't back down as the school investigates him to see if he can be fired. But he wearily acknowledged the uproar now dominates his life and makes it difficult to focus on his job as a tenured professor of ethnic studies. "I'm struggling desperately to be able to deliver to my students what they signed up for," Churchill said, slumped in a chair and chain-smoking Pall Malls. "All of my time is devoted to responding to gratuitous (expletive). Every day there's a new idiocy."
"It's not about me, and it's not about 'little Eichmanns,' either," he said. Churchill acknowledged he is confrontational when he tries to make Americans see the attacks of Sept. 11 not as unprovoked assaults on an innocent people, but as the consequences of years of U.S. policies he likens to genocide. "That's why I'm so in-your-face. You will not ignore this, purport to innocence while applauding genocide. You may not be directly culpable, but you're not innocent," he said.
Churchill has tried to keep his family and students out of the spotlight, insisting reporters get permission for classroom interviews and hesitating to make relatives available for interviews about his Indian heritage — another topic hotly contested by his critics, who argue he cannot prove he is Indian and lied about it on his job application at CU. Churchill said his mother and grandmother told him he was part Indian, and he thought of himself that way while growing up in Illinois.

It is curious that he is "protective" of his family from appearing in the spotlight when he in fact is trying minimize any further discussion of his Indian heritage. The only way he can document his ancestry is through family legend, he can provide no other proof.

Isn't it funny that Churchill's infamous essay (published the day after 9/11) immediately assumed that Iraq had something to do with it? As I recall, President Bush has been hammered incessantly for being "too quick" to blame Iraq or "fraudulently" tying Iraq to 9/11. Then again, Bush was repeatedly asked for further proof by critics around the world when he did eventually blame the Taliban, Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Yahoo! News - AP: Prof Weary in Fight on 9/11 Comments


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