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  1. #1
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    I filed a lawsuit against Linkshare yesterday
    For the past 4 years I have been having nothing but problems with Linkshare in terms of my intellectual property.

    Linkshare drafted an affiliate agreement which grants itself protection, and grants protection to its advertisers, but does not grant protection to its affiliate partners, or if it does it certainly refuses to enforce it.

    After requesting trademark and intellectual property protection from Linkshare for the past 4 years, and being denied on a regular basis, I made the decision yesterday to sue Linkshare in New York State. The court documents have already been sent to the courthouse, so the lawsuit is on.

    If anyone else has been having problems with Linkshare permitting advertisers to bid on trademarks on search engines, I would love to hear from you.

    David Tiberio
    260-399-6111
    CEO CheapBooks Inc.

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    maybe you can edit this so you can say you are looking for the information without the referance to the filing?
    Last edited by CCBerries; June 21st, 2009 at 11:02 PM.

  3. #3
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    ok
    as soon as I can figure out how to edit it I will make the change

  4. #4
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    no edit option
    I see the edit option in my reply but I do not see an option in the original to edit it. so how do I edit the post?

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador CCBerries's Avatar
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    i think there is a time limit, one of the mods will eventually clean it up if you ask nice

  6. #6
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    Admin Note: No need to edit, it's not a claim of action it's a statement of the action and solicitation for others merchants who may be affected as well. Not an issue board wise. I removed the "party" thread.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtiberio
    Linkshare drafted an affiliate agreement which grants itself protection, and grants protection to its advertisers, but does not grant protection to its affiliate partners, or if it does it certainly refuses to enforce it.

    If anyone else has been having problems with Linkshare permitting advertisers to bid on trademarks on search engines, I would love to hear from you.
    I'm very confused. Are you a merchant or an affiliate?
    Advertiser= Merchant
    Affiliate Partner = Affiliates

    You said Linkshare permitting advertisers to bid on trademarks on search engines. So you are saying there are some merchants bidding on your trademarks ?




    Edit: OK, you are a merchant. I guess you defined affiliates as "advertisers" and merchants as "affiliate partners".

  8. #8
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    David, I'm also confused. Perhaps you can post a little more information about the nature of the protection that you expected to receive from Linkshare and more specifics about the infringements that you experienced.

    If you're referring to affiliates bidding on your Trademarks in the search engines, we're more accustomed to restrictions on bidding being supplied by the merchant as separate PPC guidelines as opposed to a network wide policy or restriction. Since many merchants have differing views and requirements it makes more sense for each merchant to draft their own terms. As far as I know there is only one network that has a network wide restriction on affiliates bidding on merchant Trademarks. It would seem that it would be a fairly simple task to draft the desired PPC restrictions and include them in your terms of service.

    I'm also curious as to why you remained with Linkshare for 4 years if you weren't happy with the service that you were receiving. Common sense would seem to dictate that if they weren't meeting your expectations that you would move on to another network that would be more responsive.

    It's also possible that I'm missing something or have totally misunderstood your post. If you can provide more information without hurting your case it would be appreciated.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  9. #9
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    Mayfly, I think he is an affiliate. I see links to Amazon and uPromise on there which is redirecting traffic out via a CJ link and amazon aff prog. Correct me if I am wrong.

    USPTO is showing that cheapbooks is "registered", so i am assuming that LS merchants or affiliates are bidding on that?

  10. #10
    The Seal of Aproval rematt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    Mayfly, I think he is an affiliate. I see links to Amazon and uPromise on there which is redirecting traffic out via a CJ link and amazon aff prog. Correct me if I am wrong.
    Ahh, that actually makes more sense. After looking at the site, it does appear that they they are affiliates as opposed to a merchant. I'm not sure how they expected Linkshare to protect their Trademark, I believe that it would be their own responsibility.

    -rematt
    "I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant." - Richard Nixon

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    Mayfly, I think he is an affiliate. I see links to Amazon and uPromise on there which is redirecting traffic out via a CJ link and amazon aff prog. Correct me if I am wrong.

    USPTO is showing that cheapbooks is "registered", so i am assuming that LS merchants or affiliates are bidding on that?
    Thanks for the explanation, Eric. From what Haiko posted on #6, I thought he is a merchant.

    If he is an affiliate, I agree with rematt:
    Quote Originally Posted by rematt
    I'm not sure how they expected Linkshare to protect their Trademark, I believe that it would be their own responsibility

  12. #12
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    CEO CheapBooks Inc.
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  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    I can't believe they actually let you trademark "CheapBooks". I don't think it is enforceable as a trademark. Now, "Cheapbooks.com" probably is and your graphic certainly is, but not the generic phrase "CheapBooks".

    So you have to know that your "CheapBooks" generic term trademark won't stand scrutiny, so what is your real goal with this lawsuit?
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  14. #14
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    isellstuff,

    The TM is for "cheapbooks.com" unless I missed it when i search on USPTO's website.

    David,

    To touch on the lawsuit, what is your exact complaint?
    I think the qualm is not with the network but rather 3 possible entities.
    1-a) Other affiliates - bidding on your domain name
    1-b) Other affiliates - displaing your domain name in the AD URL or description/title
    1-c) Other affiliates - displaing your domain name in the description/title

    2) Merchants bidding on your domain name

    3) Search Engines, for allowing that to happen.


    I noticed that eBay and Amazon are bidding on www.cheapbooks.com, it would be easier to file a lawsuit against those companies and proving that they infringed on your intellectual property with the intention to monitize on that.

    FYI, Google just relaxed on their TM in AD TEXT
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...ByQ&refer=home

    All the best

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador isellstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    isellstuff,

    The TM is for "cheapbooks.com" unless I missed it when i search on USPTO's website.
    Nah, he has actually trademarked Cheapbooks too. He has mentioned it on his own website. Attaching a google search result with his tradmark# :
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...&aq=f&oq=&aqi=
    Merchants, any data you provide to Google Shopping should also be in your affiliate network datafeed. More data means more sales!

  16. #16
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    5 separate Trademarks, 4 live and not just image ... he's got a claim!
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  17. #17
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Quote Originally Posted by isellstuff
    Nah, he has actually trademarked Cheapbooks too. He has mentioned it on his own website. Attaching a google search result with his tradmark# :
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&c...&aq=f&oq=&aqi=
    This term CHEAP BOOKS is a very broad term in the public domain. I thought it was for cheapbooks.com so i am clearly wrong.

    David, If the suit is publish online, do post it as I am curious as to how this will turn out... and might rewrite a grey area with PPC TM and also affiliate-network relationships.

  18. #18
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    I too am surprised that a TM was granted on a phrase so general.. but nonetheless, there definitely seems to be a valid trademark in place (although it is "Cheapbooks", "Cheapbooks.com" and not "Cheap Books").

    David, I think we're all kinda curious to see the suit. Although you realise if you do the legal advice from a bunch of ABWers will probably not be that helpful
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

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