The Dozier Internet law firm is interesting. (Disclosure: I’ve dealt with them on behalf of a client once and referred prospects to the business several times).
In the blogosphere, the business has raised some hackles by purportedly claiming that viewing its site’s html code constitutes copyright infringement.
In a new firestorm, the business is suing a competitor for trademark infringement that allegedly includes repeated use of the business’s name on the competitor’s website with hyperlinks from the name that promote the competitor instead of Dozier Internet lawyers.
From the details that I’ve seen, it is clear that the competitor has made himself a thorn in the side of the Dozier business. But is that enough to sustain an infringement action?
The first thought is that this is a matter of constitutional commercial free speech rights versus possible deceptive business practices. At what point does defending one’s name give rise to a sustainable trademark infringement action.
This will be a case to watch – not because an Internet law firm is involved – but because of the precedent it could set for Internet entrepreneurs and online marketing practices. However, if the defendant lacks deep pockets to fund litigation, this case may never reach a judicial decision on the merits.
Hat tip to Ryan Gile at Las Vegas Trademark Attorney.
Update: Internet Attorney John Dozier passed away in August 2012. R.I.P.