Initial Interest Confusion rears its ugly head once more in trademark infringement case

Two years ago, Multi Time Machine brought a lawsuit against Amazon for trademark infringement, alleging that web pages on Amazon.com for “MTM special ops watches” keyword searches could be too confusing to consumers, since the MTM watches are not sold on the site. Now, a similar complaint was brought by Bodum versus Williams-Sonoma for French press coffeemakers. These cases illustrate significant risks for e-commerce sites.
Multi Time Machine’s complaint was based on a few different search results pages at Amazon that involved keywords associated with Multi Time Machine’s trademarks. When one searched for “mtm special ops watches” (and similar keyword searches that could be related to their marks), Amazon displayed what are essentially related search results. As mentioned before, MTM watches are not sold on Amazon — but the site associated those keyword searches with other watches that might be considered similar.

Initial Interest Confusion
Multi Time Machine claimed that this caused “Initial Interest Confusion” (IIC), which is a controversial theory of trademark law.

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Google reports more than 40K government requests for user data during 2nd half of 2015

Google has released its latest transparency report update, reporting 40,677 requests for user data from governments around the world.
According to the latest numbers, there were over 5,000 more requests during the second half of 2015 compared to January through June of 2015, with 81,311 total users/accounts specified.
Requests for user data by reporting period

Of the more than 100 countries listed on the transparency report, the United States had the most government requests for user data and account information at 12,523, followed by Germany with 7,491 requests and France with 4,174 requests.
Google gave itself a pat on the back on its latest Google Public Policy blog post, noting it had led the charge for global transparency around government surveillance laws.
We helped create the Reform Government Surveillance coalition to encourage Congress and the executive branch to take steps to modernize US surveillance laws, further protect the privacy and data security rights of all users, including those outside the US and

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Google Loses Appeal By AdWords Advertisers In Suit Over Ads On Error Pages

AdWords advertisers have won their appeal of a ruling that denied them class-action status in their suit against Google over ads appearing on error pages and parked domains.
The Ninth District Court of Appeals overturned the 2012 ruling by a US District Court of Northern California judge in appeal case Pulaski & Middleman LLC v. Google Inc. 12-16752. The higher court concluded that the lower court erred in its decision to deny class-action status. The ruling remands the case to a trial judge.
In the district court case, In re Google AdWords Litigation, 5:08-cv-03369, advertisers argued that Google misled them about the types of sites and pages on which their AdWords ads could appear between 2004 and 2008. In March 2008, Google updated the AdWords interface to allow advertisers to opt out of having their ads show on error pages and parked domains when advertising on the Google Display Network.
The advertisers are seeking restitution for the difference between what they paid per click versus

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EU Says Process For Reviewing Right To Be Forgotten Appeals Is Working

The EU organization charged with overseeing Europe’s Right To Be Forgotten appeals process – Article 29 Working Party (WP29) – says its review system for RTBF complaints is working just fine, and that the majority of RTBF requests denied by search engines are justified.
After creating a set of guidelines for reviewing RTBF appeals last December, WP29 – a group made up of data protection authorities from the EU’s member states – recently surveyed national regulators and has determined its process for reviewing appeals is operating efficiently.
“It follows from the answers received to the questionnaire that the system put in place by the WP29 has efficiently played its role.”
In a statement released by the WP29 covering its survey results, the group claimed, “It follows from the answers received to the questionnaire that the system put in place by the WP29 has efficiently played its role.”
It also said of the nearly 2,000 complaints it has received, the great majority

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Right-To-Be-Forgotten One Year Later: 70 Percent Of Requests Refused

It was roughly one year ago that the “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) was formally established in Europe by the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Since that time Google has received just over 254,000 removal requests across Europe.
According to Reputation VIP, which operates the Forget.me site in Europe, 70 percent of these RTBF requests are now being denied by Google. The average request processing time has also declined from 56 days to 16 over the past year.

According to the company the top four countries in Europe making RTBF requests are the UK, Germany, The Netherlands and France. Invasion of privacy is by far the most-often cited reason behind RTBF requests. The following chart reflects the full hierarchy of removal justifications, according to Reputation VIP.

Even as RTBF request and removal procedures have “stabilized” over the past year there’s still a raging debate about the scope of removals. Politicians and regulators throughout Europe want the removals to apply to Google’s

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