Another Competitive Keyword Advertising Lawsuit Fails–Infogroup v. DatabaseLLC

28 06 2015

The plaintiffs run several well-known databases, such as infoUSA and Salesgenie. The defendants are former employees of plaintiffs who split off and launched a competitive rival. The plaintiffs are upset that the defendants’ databases contain fake listings created by the plaintiffs, despite the marketing claim that the defendants’ databases are “verified.” The plaintiffs are also upset about what they perceive as various marketing overclaims that relate to the companies’ common history.

Defendants bought plaintiffs’ trademarks as AdWords. Like most recent cases, the trademark claims go nowhere (some cites omitted):There are several other interesting nuggets in this opinion:

* the plaintiffs claimed the fictional listings showing up in the defendants’ databases provided evidence of trade secret misappropriation. But web scraping can’t be trade secret misappropriation when it involves publicly accessible data because, by definition, that data can’t be a trade secret any more. The court concludes: “to the extent that Infogroup’s motion is focused on “webscraping,” such conduct is not unlawful under Nebraska [trade secret] law.” I just did a more complete update on scraping law.


Case citation: Infogroup, Inc. v. DatabaseLLC, 2015 WL 1499066 (D. Neb. Mar. 30, 2015)

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