Of course Google profits from millions of typo-squatting websites from Google's Adsense advertising program. But are they liable for trademark infringement or contributory trademark infringement? The Lawyers in the Vulcan Golf, LLC v. Google Inc. class action lawsuit alleging the Google Adsense for Domains (AFD) program is assisting in violating trademarks are about to find out. A hearing on is scheduled for as early as next month in which Plaintiffs' attorneys will ask an Illinois federal judge to allow the case against Google to proceed.
Edelman and other lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit representing domain owners who claim the Google Adsense for Domains (AFD) program is assisting in violating trademarks. A hearing is scheduled for as early as next month in which Edelman will ask an Illinois federal judge to allow the case against Google to proceed.
The Mountain View, California, company did not respond for comment on how much revenue is generated via typo-squatting.
But Google attorney Maria Moran says Edelman's allegations are "misguided," and that Google is doing nothing illegal because it "merely distributes third-party advertisements."
Google is immune from liability, she adds. "Google's sweeping trademark protection policies provide that Google will immediately remove any allegedly infringing domains from its AFD program at the request of the trademark holder."
Edelman, however, said Google is attempting to confuse two laws: the Anti-cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The DMCA "safe harbor" provision protects sites from claims that they host copyright infringing material if that material was put there by users and if the sites remove material upon notice from copyright holders. Google relies on the safe harbor provisions to avoid liability for videos posted on its YouTube site, for example.
But Edelman says Google is wrong to try to invoke a notification safe harbor as a defense to typo-squatting.