Internet Trademark Case Summaries
Pensacola Motor Sales v. Eastern Shore Toyota, LLC
2010 WL 3781552 (N.D. Fla Sept. 23, 2010)
Pensacola Motor Sales v. Eastern Shore Toyota, LLC, 2010 WL 3781552 (N.D. Fla Sept. 23, 2010). Plaintiff operated a car dealership under the name Bob Tyler Toyota and defendant operated a competing dealership under the name Eastern Shore Toyota. Defendant registered 11 domain names containing the BOB TYLER mark, using the websites to redirect traffic to its own website. Defendant also purchased search-engine keywords containing plaintiff’s mark. Plaintiff sued defendant for unfair competition, false advertising, cybersquatting, and other claims. The court denied the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment. Regarding keywords, defendant argued that it was entitled to summary judgment because the purchase of keywords “d[id] not constitute a misrepresentation or cause confusion under the Lanham Act.” The court disagreed, however, holding that “plaintiff . . . presented facts that could lead a jury to conclude the defendant’s purchase of ad words [did] indeed meet the requirements of the Lanham Act.” Because a genuine issue of material fact remained, summary judgment was not appropriate. There was no substantive discussion regarding the keyword claims and no indication whether defendant’s keyword-triggered ads contained plaintiff’s mark.