Jones Day v., No. 08 C 4572 (N.D. Ill.) (Darrah, J.).

As I have described in earlier posts (click here and here) plaintiff Jones Day sued defendants, and two individuals associated with the website (collectively "Blockshopper"), for allegedly using Jones Day’s service marks and linking to its website in at least two articles discussing Chicago real estate transactions of Jones Day associates. Jones Day claims service mark infringement, Lanham Act false designation of origin, Lanham Act dilution, and state law deceptive trade practices and unfair competition. Plaintiff also moved for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”).  The parties stipulated to a TRO which the Court entered ordering defendants not to:  1) use Jones Day’s service mark; 2) use any content from or link to Jones Day’s website; or reference Jones Day in Blockshopper headlines.  Blockshopper has a deadline of this Friday, September 19, to file a motion to dismiss
It is not surprising that the suit has gotten a lot of interest in the legal blogosphere.  Here are some of the most significant posts:
  • Consumer Law & Policy Blog — considering the merits of the claims.
  • [UPDATE]:  Las Vegas Trademark Attorney — pointing out that individuals could avoid being the subject of a Blockshopper story by purchasing through a trust.
  • Legal Blog Watch — questioning the PR ramifications of the suit.
  • [UPDATE]:  MediaPost — noting that Blockshopper’s Florida stories also run in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel based on a deal with the Tribune company.
  • Techdirt

While I generally save my commentary for the opinions, there is one point that needs to be made.  Many bloggers are using an alleged quote from Judge Darrah (I did not hear it and have not seen a transcript of the hearing, so cannot confirm it) warning Blockshopper that defending the suit would be very expensive.  Unless the comment was made in a hostile or aggressive manner, which I very much doubt and which has not been suggested in the posts I have seen, that is simply a statement of legal reality.  Defending federal intellectual property cases has become expensive, very expensive.  And defense costs are a factor in the calculus of every defendant’s business decisions about  a law suit.