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US Court Orders Company to Use Negative Keywords

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the negative-ghostrider-the-pattern-is-full dept.

The Courts 177

A US court has ordered a firm to utilize negative adwords in their internet advertising. "Orion Bancorp took Orion Residential Finance (ORF) to court in Florida over ORF's use of the word 'Orion' in relation to financial services and products, arguing that it had used the term since 2002 and had held a trade mark for it since then. [...] The judge in the case went further, though, restraining ORF from 'purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords or "adwords" in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff's Mark, or any confusingly similar mark, and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term "Orion" as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used.'"

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177 comments

Orion, that's definitely a unique name.... (3, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302412)

Orion's overrated anyway. They should change their name to BoÃtes.

Re:Orion, that's definitely a unique name.... (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302428)

Say What?

I don't think /. groks utf-8

Re:Orion, that's definitely a unique name.... (4, Interesting)

r_jensen11 (598210) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302448)

Sorry, I should've probably also included a link [wikipedia.org] . However, one would expect that, of any websites, /. would support more than just basic latin characters....

Re:Orion, that's definitely a unique name.... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302924)

What do you expect with Perl crap from the early 90s, you think they've heard of unicode and character encoding?

Aye Matey, forget Orion, call yourself Booties (3, Funny)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302968)

as in Pirate Booty or Booties plural.

Pirate Booties Bankcorp

You can hire Maddox to be your spokesperson.

Re:Orion, that's definitely a unique name.... (4, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302460)

fyi Bootes is a constellation with the giant void.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bootes

Re:Orion, that's definitely a unique name.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303366)

Giggity?

Editors please Edit! (3, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302422)

The judge in the case went further, though, restraining ORF from 'purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords or 'adwords' in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff's Mark, or any confusingly similar mark, and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term 'Orion' as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used.
Do you realize how long this sentence is? Fine for court documents, but not for a casual news site.

Re:Editors please Edit! (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302502)

Sometimes, thoughts are complex.

Re:Editors please Edit! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303000)

Sometimes, thoughts are complex.

The again, sometimes sentences (such as the one quoted), are just poorly written.

Re:Editors please Edit! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303202)

Also, sometimes people dro letters, from the ends of words, and use, too many, commas.

Re:Editors please Edit! (5, Funny)

travdaddy (527149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302508)

Do you realize how long this sentence is? Fine for court documents, but not for a casual news site.

It's fine, we're all very adept lawyers here.

Re:Editors please Edit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303002)

Not only that, but too many people think they're smart by (incorrectly) using the word "utilize" when they should be using "use".

"A US court has ordered a firm to utilize negative adwords in to their internet advertising."

use != utilize
utilize = quantification of use

Re:Editors please Edit! (3, Funny)

Daffy Duck (17350) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303172)

Also, not enough people think they're not smart or don't think that they aren't smart or are not smarter than they don't think.. wait, what was the question again?

Re:Editors please Edit! (1)

Trucid (1283736) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303898)

Not only that, but too many people think they're smart by (incorrectly) using the word "utilize" when they should be using "use".

"A US court has ordered a firm to utilize negative adwords in to their internet advertising."

use != utilize
utilize = quantification of use

According to m-w.com:
(utilize)
: to make use of : turn to practical use or account
synonyms: use

Google:
(utilize)
use: put into service; make work or employ (something) for a particular purpose or for its inherent or natural purpose; "use your head!"



Make sure your information is right before you try to "correct" someone.

what? (2, Funny)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303438)

IANAL

Re:Editors please Edit! (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302584)

ok. translation for the modern generation:

"you know dude, you been naughty. like stop it, k"

will that do ya?

Re:Editors please Edit! (2, Informative)

alta (1263) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302622)

thanks, that helps.

Re:Editors please Edit! (5, Informative)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302594)

Translation:
The judge in the case went further, though, restraining
IF
restraining ORF from 'purchasing or using any form of advertising including keywords ||
('adwords' in internet advertising containing any mark incorporating Plaintiff's Mark &&
hall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term 'Orion' as negative keywords) ||
negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used.
END

I may need to debug that...

Re:Editors please Edit! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303698)

It scares me that I understood that.

I need a woman, NOW.

Re:Editors please Edit! (5, Funny)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302652)

Do you realize how long this sentence is? Fine for court documents, but not for a casual news site.
Sometimes, due either to an attempt to communicate a complicated idea or the desire to expand on a simple idea ad nauseum for novelty purposes, a sentence will carry on for extended lines and, if properly authored by an individual using simple words and eschewing obfuscation, it will not necessarily be difficult for the general public to understand, even without the assistance of a lawyer, translator, or advanced Communications degree.

Re:Editors please Edit! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303420)

But complicated ideas, like sentences, can be broken down into smaller ones. This is not coincidental. The sentence is supposed to convey the idea, after all.

Re:Editors please Edit! (1)

igaborf (69869) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303626)

What?

Re:Editors please Edit! (5, Funny)

SingerGuy59 (1279730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303896)

The magnitude of your copious assertion is far to sagacious for my diminutive comprehension.

Re:Editors please Edit! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303972)

Sometimes, due either to an attempt to communicate a complicated idea or the desire to expand on a simple idea ad nauseum for novelty purposes, a sentence will carry on for extended lines and, if properly authored by an individual using simple words and eschewing obfuscation, it will not necessarily be difficult for the general public to understand, even without the assistance of a lawyer, translator, or advanced Communications degree.
In other words: Properly worded, complex ideas can be summed up clearly and concisely, without the need for pedantry.

Besides, keeping it concise doesn't allow nearly as many opportunities for errors in punctuation. As you may know, misused, or just flatly missed punctuation, can make a pedant look like a fool.

I agree with GP: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid.)

Re:Editors please Edit! (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302952)

They're lucky that's the only long sentence given by the judge.

Confusingly similar to what happened yesterday (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303456)

"confusingly similar"? That's a pretty confusing term.

Re:Editors please Edit! (1)

Heddahenrik (902008) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303478)

Do you honestly think that the ones reading the court documents can read complicated sentences better than slashdotters?

As the court make up its own idea about that it can order where a company put their ads, I rule them quite stupid. It would have been another thing if the court would have said something about what they can write in the ads.

Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (4, Insightful)

writerjosh (862522) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302454)

This is unfortunate. The courts should have no jurisdiction over someone's stupidity. Using the name "Orion" in your company name is just asking for trouble. It's such a popular and recognizable term. OB and ORF shouldn't be surprised when someone steps on their toes once in awhile. OB acts like it invented the term despite the fact that it's been around for thousands of years.

And then with the courts stepping in and forcing ORF to not use the term in their advertising is playing favorites to OB. I can only imagine that this decision puts a serious dent in ORF's bottom line. If ORF was calling themselves "Kleenex" or some other brand name, that would be understandable, but "Orion?" Come on. OB shouldn't be crying foul when they should've known there would be confusion with the name "Orion." They need to grow up and play ball the old fashion way: may the best man win.

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (5, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302530)

Plus, everyone knows the Orion is a satire/parody website.

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (2, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302546)

The bank one should change their name to "Orien's Moneybelt".

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302574)

"Orion" isn't the first term you'd use to describe a financial services company, though, and as soon as you use a non-descriptive word to identify your business you're in the realm of trademark law. Trademark law looks for risk of confusion, which is imaginable in this case. They shouldn't have been able to sue a business called "Orion candy", for example.

Nolo Press has a good book about trademarks, and one of the examples they give of a common word turning into a protectable trademark is "Diesel: a bookstore". "Diesel" is a pretty common word but uncommon when applies to bookstores.

Thanks. (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303368)

If you like Firefly try Crimson Dark [davidcsimon.com]

Thank you for the link. I just finished reading the prologue, and I like! I like! Now, if only I didn't have to work, so I could catch up on the year and a half of archives.

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (1)

mopower70 (250015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303628)

And when used in the context of Vin Diesel, draws the mind even further from the topic of books.

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302604)

Perhaps someone should start a company called "allied subprime"...

too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302694)

Too late ... [alliedloansnorthwest.com]

Never heard of those Orions... (1)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302818)

If pressed to think of a non-constellation use of Orion, I think of Orion Pictures [wikipedia.org]

These banks prolly ought not mess with movie folks over things like trademarks and copyrights...

Re:Never heard of those Orions... (2, Insightful)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303154)

Except that Orion Pictures doesn't sell financial services. ORF does, which is why the complaint carried weight. The two companies have overlapping areas of business interest. It's not just the use of a trademarked term, it's use of it in such a way that it could cause confusion for potential customers and cost the plaintiff money.

over ORF's use of the word 'Orion' in relation to financial services and products

Re:Never heard of those Orions... (2, Interesting)

DarthJohn (1160097) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303946)

similar to how Linus owns the trademark Linux when applied to software, and somebody else owns the trademark Linux when applied to laundry detergent [slashdot.org] .

Different domain, different trademark.

Heh... that summary says there are over 200 different trademarks for the term Linux.

Re:Never heard of those Orions... (2, Insightful)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303170)

If pressed to think of a non-constellation use of Orion, I think of Orion Pictures
Those are two different industries and hence one wouldn't be confusing Orion Bankcorp with Orion Pictures. So that situation isn't really analogous to two financial companies both using Orion in their name.

These banks prolly ought not mess with movie folks over things like trademarks and copyrights...
Even if Orion Pictures was still around, which it's not, they wouldn't be able to win a suit against either Orion Bankcorp or Orion Residential Finance.
You might want to do some reading on trademark law before you post next time.

Re:Never heard of those Orions... (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303752)

Even if Orion Pictures was still around, which it's not
Offtopic, but amusing:
The funniest bit of commentary from Weird Al's UHF is at the very beginning, where he sings along with the Orion logo music, "Orion...Orion...is bankrupt now!"

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (4, Informative)

thebdj (768618) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302934)

If ORF was calling themselves "Kleenex" or some other brand name, that would be understandable
Actually, thanks to a little something known as genericized trademark [wikipedia.org] , they actually wouldn't be in too much trouble if their name were Kleenex. It could be easily argued that Kleenex is genericized since the word is almost synonymous with tissues now. Trademark law works quite interesting in that manner. If you do not properly defend your mark and it becomes "generic" then your rights to the mark could be lost. (Now, if only we adopted a similar measure with Patents but that is a different story.)

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303524)

I hear this all the time. But other than reference to this theory, I NEVER hear someone say Kleenex when they just mean tissues. Now Band-Aid, that's a better example.

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (4, Informative)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303792)

Anytime a trademark gets an indefinite article, it's in risk of being a common term.

Nobody is likely to ask a friend for "Kleenex," hoping to get a specific brand of tissue, but it is common to ask for "a kleenex," just as somebody might ask for "a bandaid."

People in various places also refer to "a frigidaire" or "a coke," and plenty of terms that started out as trademarks have been lost to common words: aspirin, cellophane, dumpster, escalator, nylon, linoleum, thermos, velcro, zipper.

Bad precedent (2, Insightful)

shmlco (594907) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303044)

I think this sets a bad precedent. The internet is a global mechanism, and I think this has the potential to start a land grab for "confusing" names. Just as an example, how many "Golden Dragon" Chinese restaraunts are there in the entire US? Or Golden Pheasants? Or Red Dragons? Or all three in the same city? Who sues to get a lock on "Golden" and who ensures that no one else anywhere can use "Dragon"?

And don't even get me started on AA Locksmiths, AAA Locksmiths, and AAAA Locksmiths...

Re:Bad precedent (1)

Talderas (1212466) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303224)

Or hell, what about a Chinese Restaurant called "Angry Dragon"? That would cross so many bad lines, it's not even funny!

Re:Bad precedent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303236)

your AAAA record for locksmiths.com in DNS is violating my trademark for "AAAA DNS Services". Only my company can do AAAA records in DNS.

Re:Bad precedent (4, Insightful)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303346)

I doubt this sets any precedent. This is not new or novel or even unexpected. The only news for nerds here is the judge explicitly calling out search advertising. Otherwise, it's entirely predictable (the way laws and courts should be).

The Orions had both overlapping goods/services AND they had overlapping sales regions.

Golden Dragon restaurant in downtown L.A. does not compete with Golden Dragon in Manhattan. There is no confusion arising from the re-use of that name. Now, if there were a Golden Dragon *chain* restaurant, the rules may change. But not much. First come, first serve, as far as that trade mark and the area it is used in. You can't form a chain called "Golden Dragon restaurants" and try to push that Manhattan restaurant out (but you can try to buy it).

Re:Bad precedent (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303540)

To avoid confusion, we have referred to our local Chinese takeway as "the Golden Whatsit" for many years. They call us "Mr and Mrs No-Prawn". It myst work, we know we are us, and they know they are them!

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (1)

BigRedFed (635728) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303256)

WTF is Orion?

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (2, Funny)

DECS (891519) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303804)

It's in the title of a Prince song, so presumably it's a poetic reference to a vagina.

Re:Orion Bankcorp: Crybabies (2, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303654)

OB and ORF shouldn't be surprised when someone steps on their toes once in awhile. OB acts like it invented the term despite the fact that it's been around for thousands of years.

The trademark is obviously restricted to banking and finance. It's not like they'd get the same judgment against "Orion Tiddlywink Company'. They don't have to invent the name; that is a rather modern contrivance in which companies change their name to make up a vaguely positive sounding fake name, like a cancer merchant changing their name to Altria or a baby Bell changing its name to Verizon. Historically, companies have used existing names or words to denote their company, and trademark law has specific protections for that. The whole point is to provide protection to companies who use a specific name in a certain tradespace without letting them "own" the name.

Its perfectly reasonable (5, Informative)

Zeinfeld (263942) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302480)

There was a pretty clear claim for trademark infringement here. The court very reasonably found that ORF was trading on Orion's reputation.

Having made that finding the court is quite reasonably penalizing ORF. It is quite reasonable for an injunction to penalize ORF after they clearly took advantage of Orion's reputation.

And any company that does not show up in court when served with papers is likely to find that they end up saddled with onerous terms in any case.

Re:Its perfectly reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302646)

I find your response to be reasonable.

Re:Its perfectly reasonable (3, Interesting)

quarterbuck (1268694) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302654)

It is true that ORF did not turn up in court. It is also true that there is a reasonable trademarks dispute with two firms that have similar names and sell similar products.
That said, the idea of negative adwords is a bad idea. If there is a valid trademark dispute, ORF should be forced to pay restitution to Orion or forced to change the name. But. now due to the negative keywords ruling, even if ORF changes its name to Uranus corporation, they still are bound not to advertise on a page where user searches for Orion. They essentially cannot offer their services to a user who is searching for Orion.
This is similar to saying that in a newspaper where there is a news article about Netscape, Microsoft should not be allowed to advertise just because in the past Microsoft played dirty with Netscape.

Re:Its perfectly reasonable (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303884)

This is similar to saying that in a newspaper where there is a news article about Netscape, Microsoft should not be allowed to advertise just because in the past Microsoft played dirty with Netscape.
I thought that was more or less the definition of punishment. You can't do X now becuase in the past you did something wrong. Not trying to be a smart a$$ but appearntly someone (teh court) thinks they did something wrong and need to be punished.

Re:Its perfectly reasonable (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303120)

From the point of view of someone working in internet marketing company as google adwords qualified individual (though I know that status is very easy to get by anyone interested) and SEO-guy...

They wouldn't want to take advantage of Orion's reputation. I mean, they pay by the click. They rather want to spend their adwords budget to people actually interested in the subject than just paying to fool people to click their ad when searching for something else.

Either the company genuinely wanted yo advertise on, you know, their name, or they are very stupid.

Re:Its perfectly reasonable (3, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303270)

Except that "fair use" of a trademark applies, as in, you have the right to use a trademark when comparing your product to another. Pepsi can use the trademarked term "Coke" when comparing the taste of their product to Coke, all perfectly legal. Even though the names are not similar, under this judge's (flawed) interpretation of the law, Pepsi couldn't use "compare taste of coke" or "coke vs pepsi" in their advertising tags, which would normally be considered a fair use of the term.

If the one company has the term trademarked, then yes, the other must tread lightly when using the term. As to using the negative in the ad terms, that is just insanely stupid. This will only serve to provide LESS comparisons of competition, instead of doing what the law was designed to do: clear up any confusion in the marketplace.

Re:Its perfectly reasonable (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303852)

So if I created a brown-colored soda and called it "Coke II" it would be fair use?

I think not.

This is a case where two financial institutions have extremely similar names and overlapping business territory, and the more established one is suing the newer one to prevent them from using the name. It is a textbook application of trademark law, and it doesn't matter at all if the term is a registered trademark as long as the plaintiff can show that they began using the name in the marketplace first.

If the second company was called Capricorn Financial, and they said in all their ads, "Capricorn Financial; we're way the hell better than Orion Financial" that would be fair use.

perfectly reasonable for biblical times, maybe (1)

Orig_Club_Soda (983823) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303820)

I think this kind of punishment is unconstitutional as it prevents equal opportunity. People can be banned from doing the wrong thing, but forcing them to hurt themselves is barbaric.

But what about the negative use of Hans' Anus? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302498)

This post is brought to you by Hans Reiser's shredded anus, which is by now no doubt being passed around the jail house like a pack of smokes. His poor anus probably now resembles a pastrami sandwich that fell apart. I wonder if he'll describe that experience in the passive voice...

Misinterpreting negative (5, Funny)

Bovius (1243040) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302514)

When I first read the post, for some reason I thought "negative keywords" meant they had to advertise under keywords that people wouldn't want, like "really bad financial service" or "shady loan company" or "housing lemons".

My interpretations: (4, Funny)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302532)

1) Company must now register and pay for the keywords "Dummy", "Poopiehead", "Fartsniffer", and "Boogerbrains"

or

2) Company must now register keywords that, when combined with their intended keywords, nullify each other out, like Semantic anti-matter.

or

3) Company may only use keywords that have a value less than zero.

Re:My interpretations: (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302614)

Company may only use keywords that have a value less than zero
Well, someone finally solved it:

1. Get sued for trademark infringement
2. Get court to force you to buy negative keywords (which value is less than zero)
3. Profits!

Re:My interpretations: (1)

Alzheimers (467217) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302626)

So, does Google pay *YOU* when someone clicks on your link?

Re:My interpretations: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302724)

...only in Russia...

I smell a Loop hole (2, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302554)

"Negative Keywords" is a Google term. Excluded Keywords the Yahoo term. The judge specifically said "negative keywords or negative adwords". So does this reach across to OTHER search engines? I would hope so and that Google has a case on their hands if they had "Negative keywords" trademarked...

Re:I smell a Loop hole (4, Informative)

elb (49623) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302926)

Forget RTFA, did you even read the original post?

"and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like, require the activation of the term 'Orion' as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used".


the judge specifically said "internet advertising". and s/he used the phrase "keywords, adwords, or the like". to suggest that the ruling applies only to google adwords is flagrant trolling. i don't know how anyone could possibly interpret the statement in the ruling as being constrained to google.

sheesh. how this got modded "interesting" is beyond me.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303064)

I'm not trolling. Depending on the lawyer you get they will argue semantics of a ruling to squeak out any loophole they can. My argument here is that the judgment was for advertising to focus on a Google specific term. There where other nontechnical ways to word this judgment but they went for "Negative Keywords" specifically.
Yahoo does NOT use "negative Keywords" they use "Excluded Keywords". That may be a legal back door used in the appeal process.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (0, Flamebait)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303374)

Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I'll quote the relevant section for you.

and shall, when purchasing internet advertising using keywords, adwords or the like

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303484)

And you ommited to quote the relevant section for his argument:

require the activation of the term 'Orion' as negative keywords or negative adwords in any internet advertising purchased or used.


Techpawn's argument (the way I understand it) is that lawyers could have a field day with this one since the judgment specifically said "negative" in their two examples.

They could put ads with Yahoo!, get sued again and say in court "Your honor, Yahoo! does not offer negative keywords, negative adwords or the like."

Emphasis on "negative whatever" is the point of the argument here. And don't forget that lawyers love to play with words, that's their job.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303584)

They could put ads with Yahoo!, get sued again and say in court "Your honor, Yahoo! does not offer negative keywords, negative adwords or the like."
That's why the term was clarified in the ruling document to mean any keyword that could be used to prevent an advertiser from appearing during a search. I know this is slashdot and all, but you might want to read the thing you are trying to critique next time. It'll help to make you look like less of a moron the next time you try to expound on a subject.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303858)

I was merely referring to what you and Techpawn said (and the slashdot blurb). No need to resort to actual facts. ;)

That, and you know how lawyers like to twist words and sentences.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303500)

Arguing semantics. I understand "or the like" but they gave a specific and that's the kink in the armour.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303512)

For purposes of this court order, a "negative keyword" or "negative adword" shall mean a special kind of advertiser keyword matching option that allows an advertiser to prevent its advertisement from appearing when the specific terms are a part of a given user's internet search or search string. It does not infer that the Defendant may use the specified negative keywords or adwords for any other purpose.
Fail. Read the ruling next time.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303570)

Did Google trademark that phrase "Negative Keyword"? They may now have to defend it like they did their name.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303648)

Since I see no TM markings next to any use of the phrase on all of Google's pages that I can find, most likely not. If they did they are doing a poor job of showing it.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303736)

Then I concede the point.
It is still an interesting thought and I would not be surprised to watch an Orion guy try such a move. Then again, we can only pray a trained lawyer would not make the same mistake I did.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Uncle Focker (1277658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303772)

Even if it was a trademarked phrase it wouldn't matter since the term was clarified by the judge to mean any keyword that could be used for blocking an advertiser from showing up in a search.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303406)

Did you even bother to read the ruling?

For purposes of this court order, a "negative keyword" or "negative adword" shall mean a special kind of advertiser keyword matching option that allows an advertiser to prevent its advertisement from appearing when the specific terms are a part of a given user's internet search or search string. It does not infer that the Defendant may use the specified negative keywords or adwords for any other purpose.
This imagined legal back door you've constructed doesn't exist.

Re:I smell a Loop hole (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303944)

> sheesh. how this got modded "interesting" is
> beyond me.

Yea for real the morons that mod most things on here make me wanna HURL aint got the first idea total crap becoms interesting for F*** Sake .
I canned my Login ID cus it's a pile of yea well I'll leave you to your imagination.

The Wrong Cachet (1)

FurtiveGlancer (1274746) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302572)

I guess "Onion Residential Finance" would bring a tear.

Re:The Wrong Cachet (2, Funny)

JasonKChapman (842766) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303186)

I guess "Onion Residential Finance" would bring a tear.
Only in appeal.

But who is actually the Master of Orion? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23302680)

I think that the case should probably have been settled by whichever of the two originally defeated The Guardian. That's the only way I've ever known of to determine Orion ownership...

Re:But who is actually the Master of Orion? (1)

mulvane (692631) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303060)

I wonder how many people get the MoO ref?

Re:But who is actually the Master of Orion? (1)

phulegart (997083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303986)

Obviously you two did. MoO for teh win.

Appeal in 3..2..1.. (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302708)

Sounds like the judge was completely clueless about the technologies in this case. I'm willing to be this will be appealed shortly, and the chances of it being overturned are probably pretty good.

Re:Appeal in 3..2..1.. (5, Informative)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302872)

Under normal circumstances I'd agree completely, but since ORF didn't show up at court, their odds of winning an appeal are slim to none.

Re:Appeal in 3..2..1.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23303142)

Highly unlikely considering they didn't submit anything in opposition which resulted in a default judgment for the plaintiff. The appeals court will say "Why didn't you defend yourself against the claims?" and then they will have nothing sensible with which to respond and the case will be tossed.

There goes my dreams of an Orion Blastar Bankcorp (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302878)

If Orion is Greek Myth in origin, isn't it public domain?

What next, Onion Bankcorp, because that is how I read the article the first time I read it. :)

I don't think so (4, Insightful)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303080)

I mean, "apple" and "America" are pretty generic terms, but I suspect if I started a company called "Apple Microcomputers" and "Mortgage Bank of America" I'd get some phone calls real soon, and they wouldn't be from customers.

Ah well, they should just change their name to "YA Bankrupt Fly-By-Night Mortgage Broker" and be done with it.

Re:There goes my dreams of an Orion Blastar Bankco (2, Interesting)

mea37 (1201159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303418)

You're thinking of copyright concepts. This is a trademark issue. Trademark has nothing to do with being creative or original -- it only has to do with distinctive identification of goods and/or services.

In short, there's no reason Orion couldn't be a protected mark. The court found that it is, and I see no particular reason to think they'd get this wrong. That being the case, telling them they can't advertise under that mark is pretty much normal operation of trademarks.

Requiring negative adwords seems a bit punitive ("since you've chosen to profit off confusion, you now must take extra care to eliminate confusion")... not sure if that's common, but what do you expect when you don't bother to show up?

Goose... (-1, Troll)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 6 years ago | (#23302896)

It's time to buzz the tower.

What about Hershey? (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303108)

I am curious. There are two Hershey companies. One sells chocolate the other ice cream. Oh, but the first's products are often used in ice cream as well.

I believe the ice cream company is actually the older of the two. So they should really take their court before this judge. They could be granted to actually force the famous Hershey chocolate to buy negative keywords.

***

The real question in this case, is whether the two companies founded independently or not. (ie: Both founded in separate regions and at one point did not compete directly with each other) If this is the case, then this judgment is bogus.

It's like having "Cold Springs Financial" & "Cold Springs Loans & Mortgages". If both companies arose out of two towns named Cold Springs. And yes, both are in the same business but until the internet or large growth didn't compete directly.

If such is the case, both companies should be allowed to use the term Orion. As it is NOT a created term.

Now, on the flip side if one company founded itself with said name deliberately so as to take advantage of confusion. Then that's a significant difference.

Yes and no (1)

Relic of the Future (118669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303134)

Trademark infringement? Sure; same field, similar names, could be confusing. They should be required to change their name, or something.

But why should they be barred from using a competitor's name in their advertising? A federal court has found that to be perfectly legal [news.com] , so this is an unusal punishment.

This Judge's Spare Time (0, Troll)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303308)

Clearly in this judge's spare time he decides copyright cases in favor of the RIAA.

Seems unfair (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303424)

It sounds like this ruling makes it illegal for the company to run advertisements on any web advertiser which doesn't incorporate the concept of a "negative" keyword. So now the space of advertisers available to the company is limited by a technical detail. This seems wrong.

How dare they... (1)

orionop (1139819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303542)

How dare they use my user id in this manner!

Google should pay for an appeal (1)

Prisoner's Dilemma (1268306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303724)

If this is a precedent, it could greatly affect Google and the like. Just image if every company could require their name or portions of it be negative keywords for their competitors... for free.

We would then get more company squatters forming companies just to grab the right to require negative keywords for their competitors. Kleenex might form 'Bathroom tissue, LLC', 'Toilet Paper, Inc.' to provide them more exclusive online marketing.

Our language is already becoming diluted with terms, imagine if every company had exclusive right to the group of sounds that make up the words in their name.

That being said, I'm still not in favor of what Google's advertising profit model has become.

The fools!!! (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#23303974)

The negative keywords will combine with the positive keywords and KABLAM!!!!! Goddamn hippies messing with forces of which they know nothing!
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