"Trademark violations" in search engines: InMotion and Webhostinghub

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Previously, someone started a thread about InMotion sending them a trademark violation notice about use of search terms/keywords, and I posted there because they sent us one as well:

http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1302978

We received an email from webhostinghub.com yesterday which is word for word the one that InMotion sent out, also from the “Trademark Team”, also unsigned, and also with the same faulty reasoning and lack of awareness of how Google chooses to display ads. This is not a tremendous surprise given that the two are related.

Apparently they have learned nothing from their previous run.

Here is some free advice for them.

1. Check with an attorney – a real one – who is versed in IP and Internet issues BEFORE you decide these things are a good idea. They would likely caution you about making claims you cannot support by declaring that someone is bidding on keywords or phrases that actually contain something trademarked by you when you do not have access to that information. META content showing someone’s trademarked name? Yes. Search engine results on someone’s trademarked name used in conjunction with other, non-trademarked words or phrases? No.

2. Put a real name on it. If you’re proud enough to send it, you should be proud enough to sign it.

3. To avoid making people laugh and point at you, learn how to read Google’s own explanation of why certain ads are displayed. They even provide a handy little icon to do so. If you cannot understand “This ad matches terms similar to the ones you entered”, get a dictionary or have someone explain it to you.

4. Read up on Occam’s razor: which is more likely? That giant players like 1&1, GoDaddy, et al – whose ads also appear on the particular phrases you’re claiming mean someone is trampling on your trademark – know who you are, or care enough to use your domain name? Or is it, perhaps, that the portion of the phrase OTHER than your domain name is the driver as to why those ads appear?

5. Stop being an irritating trademark troll and sending out frivolous legal threats over things like this.

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