U.S. District Court Judge Ronald Lew, in the Central District of California, has denied Google’s request to transfer the case to its home court: the Northern District of California.
The company, which provides Internet filter software, is alleging Google infringed trademark on AdWords, according to a technology and marketing law blog by Eric Goldman. Cybersitter alleges Net Nanny, a competitor, paid to have its ads pop up when Internet users search for “Cybersitter” on Google, the Cybersitter v. Google complaint indicates.
Cybersitter, which was an AdWords advertiser until 2010, agreed to Google’s terms of service, which includes a condition to take legal action on all ad-related disputes in court in Santa Clara County, California.
Google contended, under those terms, Cybersitter’s case should be heard in a northern California court. Lew, however, said Cybersitter’s complaints against the search engine giant weren’t covered by Google’s AdWords contract.
“This is one of three remaining trademark lawsuits against Google for AdWords,” Goldman wrote. “The other two pending suits are Rosetta Stone and Home Decor Center; Google just won the Jurin case. In this ruling, Google suffers a preliminary loss in the Cybersitter case on a couple of key points. I still think Google will eventually win this case one way or another, but it’s still a bummer ruling for Google. It also is a signal that Google may have an uphill battle with this judge.”
In the past, judges have ruled in Google’s favor, which has forced companies in distant locations to pursue their cases in the San Francisco area.