Segal McCambridge Attorneys Help Obtain Bar Of Certification Of Class In Web-Related Trademark Lawsuit

News

January 5, 2009

In a case involving some of the biggest names in Internet commerce, a U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the uniqueness of the trademark issues involved prevent the plaintiffs from proceeding as a class in a case pending in federal court in Chicago.

The plaintiffs - Vulcan Golf, LLC, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc., Blitz Realty Group, Inc. and Vincent E. "Bo" Jackson - had sought to file a class action against Google, Inc., Oversee.net, Sedo.com, Dotster, Inc. a/k/a revenuedirect.com, and Internet Reit, Inc., d/b/a Ireit, Inc. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had schemed to receive "billions of dollars in ill-gotten advertising and marketing revenue" by registering, licensing and monetizing allegedly deceptive domain names at the expense of the plaintiffs in their capacities as trademark owners.

In ruling against certification of the class, the Hon. Blanche M. Manning found that the various circumstances surrounding each of the individual trademarks were too unique and particular to each instance to allow certification of the class. "In this court's view," she concluded, "the possibility of hundreds if not thousands of individual hearings related to ownership, distinctiveness and the applicability of affirmative defenses, including managing probable discovery to be conducted prior to those hearings, precludes a finding that a class action is a superior method of adjudicating the trademark-related claimsÂ…."

Segal McCambridge represented defendant Sedo.com in the case. The firm's co-chair Jeffrey Singer led the team for Segal McCambridge, assisted by Misty Martin, Anastasios T. Foukas, and Mitchell P Morinec.

To read the judge's order, click here.