May 14, 2007, 12:00 AM

Judge sets November trial date for American Blinds vs. Google

A U.S. District Court judge has set a date of Nov. 9 for jury selection to begin in American Blinds, Wallpaper & More’s trademark infringement battle against Google.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

A U.S. District Court judge has set a date of Nov. 9 for jury selection to begin in American Blinds, Wallpaper & More’s trademark infringement battle with Google.

American Blinds, a direct marketer and web retailer of window treatments and other products, claims Google violated trademark laws by allowing rival companies to buy the name and other trademarks of American Blinds as keyword search terms in order to appear as the top listing on Google’s search results page.

The November trial will be heard by Judge Jeremy Fogel and held in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

“Companies large and small are hurt when Google uses a company`s trademark without permission for the benefit of the company`s competitors and Google,” says David Rammelt, an attorney with Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, the law firm representing American Blinds. “This is the first time a jury will have the chance to hear how Google`s business model takes advantage of companies that have built the value of their trademarks through hard work and investment."

Google has said in court that its sale of trademarked keywords in its AdWords program did not constitute use of commerce under the Lanham Act, which contains the federal statutes of U.S. trademark law. The company also has asked the court to dismiss the three-year-old complaint on multiple occasions. "As we`ve stated, Judge Fogel rightfully concluded that they had not proven that two of their marks are protectable and we are confident they will be unable to prove their remaining claims at trial," says Google litigation counsel Catherine Lacavera.

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