Mixed Ruling in Competitive Keyword Advertising Case–Goldline v. Regal

25 06 2015

The lawsuit’s principal participants are rivals in the precious metals and coin industry. The defendant organization, Regal, has an affiliate program, and it appears that some affiliates bought competitive keyword advertising using the plaintiff Goldline’s trademark. The ruling is on Regal’s motion to dismiss, and the judge’s overly pithy opinion raises as many questions as it answers. The court based its ruling on the following facts alleged in the complaint:

According to Plaintiff, Defendants purchase advertising keywords that include the GOLDLINE Marks so their websites will appear when search terms intended for Plaintiff are entered in the search engine. Many of the search results are not identified as ads. The purpose of the affiliates’ websites is to divert customers away from Plaintiff and other competitors, toward Regal. To that end, Regal prepares for its affiliates’ use, scripts and website materials that purportedly offer objective, independent evaluations and facts related to precious metal dealers. These
materials allegedly infringe on the GOLDLINE Marks. The materials also allegedly offer endorsements for Regal; false information and
statements about the independent and unbiased views of the reviewer; and false and disparaging information about Plaintiff, including customer complaints, pending litigation, and poor consumer and industry ratings.

The court dismisses the Lanham Act trademark and false designation of origin claims:

Case citation: Goldline, LLC v. Regal Assets, LLC, CV 14-03680 DDP (ASx) (C.D. Cal. April 21, 2015)



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