Jones Day v., No. 08 C 4572, Order (N.D. Ill. Aug. 18, 2008) (Darrah, J.).*

Judge Darrah entered the parties stipulated temporary restraining order ("TRO").  Plaintiff Jones Day sued defendants, and two individuals allegedly associated with the website, for allegedly using plaintiff’s service marks and linking to plaintiff’s website in at least two articles that discuss Chicago real estate transactions of plaintiff’s associates. Plaintiff claimed service mark infringement, Lanham Act false designation of origin, Lanham Act dilution, and state law deceptive trade practices and unfair competition and sought a TRO – click here for the Blog’s earlier post on the case.

The Court entered the parties’ stipulated TRO, ordering defendants not to:

  1. Use reproductions or imitations of plaintiff’s service mark;
  2. Use any content from or link to plaintiff’s website; or
  3. reference plaintiff in its headlines.

Defendants were also ordered to remove any website content already on the site that would violate the TRO if written after its entry. 

As you would expect, other blogs and mainstream media have noticed the case.  At Legal Blog Watch, Robert J. Ambrogi just wrote about the dispute (click here), noting my post and discussing an article by Lynne Marek that will appear in next week’s National Law Journal — click here (subscription required).  According to the NLJ story, plaintiff asked only $10,000 to settle the case, but defendants rejected the offer, explaining:

Bending to the law firm’s demands to stop coverage of the firm’s lawyers would strangle the company’s business model of using public records and publicly available Internet information, he said. Blockshopper, founded by former newspaper industry professionals, considers itself a next generation media outlet entitled to First Amendment protections just like any other news organization, he said.

Ambrogi sums up the issue at the heart of the dispute well:

In this age of electronically enhanced transparency, this whole dust-up reflects a sentiment I encounter time and again: "We like our public records to be public — just not too public.

Click here for the Order.