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EFF: Law Firm Uses Bogus Trademark Claim in Attempt to Silence Online News Site
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2008 17:53:44 -0400

Begin forwarded message:

From: EFF Press <press () eff org>
Date: September 19, 2008 4:33:22 PM EDT
To: presslist () eff org
Subject: [E-B] EFF: Law Firm Uses Bogus Trademark Claim in Attempt to Silence Online News Site
Reply-To: press () eff org

Electronic Frontier Foundation Media Release

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 19, 2008


Corynne McSherry
  Staff Attorney
  Electronic Frontier Foundation
  corynne () eff org
  +1 415 436-9333 x122

Paul Alan Levy
  Public Citizen Litigation Group
  plevy () citizen org
  +1 202 588-1000

Law Firm Uses Bogus Trademark Claim in Attempt to Silence
Online News Site

EFF Urges Judge to Dismiss Baseless Lawsuit

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
and Public Citizen, joined by Public Knowledge and Citizen
Media Law Project, urged a federal judge in Chicago Friday
to dismiss a law firm's baseless trademark claims, which
were apparently aimed at quashing speech by an online news

The firm of Jones Day filed the lawsuit against the real
estate news site Blockshopper.com, alleging that using its
trademark "Jones Day" to refer to the firm in a headline
and linking to the Jones Day website could lead to
confusion over the sponsorship of the site.  In its amicus
brief, EFF and Public Citizen argue that these routine
references to Jones Day are well-established fair uses of a
trademark and clearly protected by the First Amendment.

"The claims are absurd--Blockshopper was simply reporting
accurately on the activities of two lawyers who happen to
be Jones Day employees," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne
McSherry.  "That reporting is protected under trademark and
free speech law, and Jones Day should know that.  If Jones
Day had its way, any trademark holder could use trademark
claims to restrict news and commentary related to its
business and any of its employees."

"Jones Day alleges that the public could be confused by the
references to its name and links, but Internet users know
that websites generally link to other websites, independent
of any official affiliation," said Paul Alan Levy, attorney
with Public Citizen.  "That's why it's called the World
Wide Web."

This amicus brief is part of EFF's No Downtime for Free
Speech Campaign, which works to protect online expression
in the face of baseless intellectual property claims.
Robert Libman of Barnhill, Miner & Galland assisted in
filing the brief.

For the full amicus brief:

For this release:

About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/


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