Posts Tagged ‘Internet Free Speech’

A New Jersey man who was left legally blind after supposedly botched lasik eye surgery decided to criticize his surgeons online to inform others of his dissatisfying experience. He ran into more trouble than he anticipated, though, after sticking the surgeons’ names in the domain name.

The surgeons, Herbert Nevyas and Anita Nevyas-Wallace, who have offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, sued the patient for trademark violation. Public Citizen attorney Paul Alan Levy, who is representing the patient in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, says that argument doesn’t fly.

“The domain names in question do not violate the Nevyases’ rights under trademark laws, and their efforts to obtain the names constitute reverse domain name hijacking,” he said. “The Nevyases’ attempts to close the website stifle [the patient’s] free speech rights.”

Find out why.

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That’s the gist of today’s court victory for “Stillworldly,” an anonymous poster on Yahoo! Finance message boards. Public Citizen and the Electronic Frontier Foundation attorneys represented the anonymous poster.

The company in question is IA Global, which operates telemarketing operations overseas in addition to other activities (it touts itself as “a growing Business Process Outsourcing (“BPO”) and Financial Services corporation” on its Web site — yuck).

IA Global’s stock performance hasn’t exactly been stellar. In mid-2000, it’s stock was about $5 a share; since then, it’s tanked to around $0.05 a share.

Stillworldly observed this lousy performance on a public forum, and IA Global seemed to think this was grounds for a defamation suit.


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Does this link to Jones Day’s Web page confuse you? Does it make you think that maybe the CitizenVox blog, or Public Citizen is somehow affiliated with this law firm? Or are you thinking to yourself, “What the heck is Jones Day? Of course I know that the link doesn’t mean you’re affiliated. It’s just a link. It’s how I get from one Web site to another. Ten years ago, people called this ‘surfing the Web.’ ”

But Jones Day is suing the real estate news site BlockShopper.com for using its name and linking to its site, claiming that by using the name “Jones Day” and including a hyperlink to Jones Day’s home page, BlockShopper is diluting Jones Day’s trademark. Seriously. (more…)

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