Law Firm Files AdWords Suit in Wrong Court, Loses, Declares Victory

stratton_faxon_250New Haven law firm Stratton Faxon sued Google for selling competitor ads triggered by searches on their name.

Specifically, they alleged that these ads interfered with the firm’s business relations with clients, were an unfair business practice under Connecticut state law, and resulted in unjust enrichment. Read the details on Lawyers and Settlements.

Note the total absence of any trademark claim in the allegation, which is the core of all other current AdWords suits. The suit was a novel attempt to use lawyer advertising regulation to ensnare Google at the state level.

The judge in Connecticut didn’t buy in to this approach. The state judge sided with Google in a motion for judgment and tossed the case on  jurisdiction, citing that the claim should be filed in  federal court.

However, rather than refile in federal court, firm partner Michael Stratton says he doesn’t intend to pursue the matter any further.

“Our objectives had been achieved,” Stratton says. “Nobody dares buy our name from Google AdWords at this point.” (source, ABA Journal.)

Google also expressed satisfaction with the courts ruling.  But all’s well that ends well, as a recent check showed that competitors are no in fact longer buying the firm’s good name. So, as some have famously said, “Mission Accomplished”.

Eric Goldman posted case wrap-up and the a list showing the disposition of other AdWords cases over here.

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