Thursday, December 22, 2005

Jews for Jesus sue

Jews for Jesus is suing Google / blogger over, run by somone critical of the organisation, saying that it infringes their trademark. (The blogger, incidentally, calls him/herself "Whistle blower," but seems to have no connection to Jewishwhistleblower -- for one, they can write a straight sentence).
I was surprised to learn that JfJ had a trademark at all; however, a quick Google search shows that they have acted to protect their trademark on the net before (and won). What's weird here is that the blog in question posted exacty three times between Jan-May 2005 and has been neglected ever since. From this point of view, even if they are desperate to open their own blog under that specific address (although a JfJ-run blog with a similar address or on another domain would instantly overtake the blogspot blog on every search engine and ranking), the action doesn't seem to be worth JfJ's trouble. It certainly calls far, far, far more attention to the site than it would have ever received otherwise and makes it a forum for anti-JfJ comments it would never have been otherwise.
I am no lawyer so perhaps a knowledgeable Bloghead reader can fill us in on whether they actually have a case or not. Personally, the whole thing seems a little ridiculous. The blogger does not pretend in any way to be JfJ and no visitor will confuse the two -- he/she is not trying to use the trademark to pass as JfJ but rather using it in the 'blog about Jews for Jesus' sense. More importantly, if the court rules in JfJ's favor, it is putting a direct responsibility on blogger for the addresses registered which I don't think (? -- anyone know?) it has at the moment. It'll be interesting to see how this develops.

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