- Blogger Sued for Infringement
- September 9, 2008
- Law Firm: Winston & Strawn LLP - Chicago Office
The Oklahoma Publishing Company and one of its employees sued a blogger, who goes by the name Darth Husker, over an Internet article entitled "Two Sooner Quarterbacks Arrested for Intent to Distribute Cocaine." In the article, drafted by Husker, Husker indicates that two college football players had been arrested for an intent to distribute cocaine. According to the complaint, the article appeared to originate from plaintiffs' Web sites. In fact, the plaintiffs allege, the articles did not originate from plaintiffs but were fabricated. To make it appear to readers as if they were from the plaintiff, Husker replicated plaintiff's marks and trade dress. Moreover, the article did not contain factual information, the plaintiffs alleged. According to the complaint, at least two other news outlets picked up the story after reading the blog entry, and attributed the source to plaintiffs. Plaintiffs are seeking an injunction, corrective advertising, treble damages, and attorneys fees.
TIP: Bloggers are not immune from allegations of trademark or other types of intellectual property infringement. Companies that allow bloggers to operate on their Web sites should take care to shield themselves from liability for actions caused by bloggers, and should keep blogger liability in mind if allowing their employees to blog on the company's behalf.