Blog Lords

Michael Arrington Files Suit Against Jenn Allen, Alleging Defamation

(Photo: Flickr)

After a fraught public spat that included rape and abuse allegations and captured tech watchers on both coasts, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has filed a law suit against his former girlfriend, Jenn Allen, for attempting to “smear plaintiff’s name on the internet, to destroy his reputation, and to deter third persons from associating with him,” according to a lawsuit uncovered by Valleywag. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

Cat Meme Creators Are Suing Scribblenauts Because This Is How Life Works Now

(Scribblenauts. (Photo: Flickr.com/loadmagazine)

Bad news for cat meme enthusiasts: turns out the people who invented both Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat are pretty hardcore about protecting their “intellectual” property. Geek.com reports that both creators are suing the puzzle action game Scribblenauts for not getting permission to appropriate their respective cats’ likenesses before putting them in the game. Read More

Planet GOOG

Surgeon Sues Google for Unflattering Autocomplete Results

(Screencap: Google)

Google’s autocomplete functionality, which suggests search terms as you type based on how often the terms are searched for, is a boon for lazy typers and people who aren’t sure how exactly to spell “Massachusetts” (how many s’s???). But autocomplete can be a life-ruiner if it proves that people frequently search for your name + an unflattering adjective/event.

Take the case of Australian surgeon Dr. Guy Hingston, whose autocomplete results suggest you search for “bankrupt” when Googling his name. Dr. Hingston is so upset at the inaccurate portrait painted by the GOOG that he filed a suit in a California court, claiming the negative autocomplete results have cost him business as a plastic surgeon. Read More

Law and Order

Ridding the Internet of Your Mortifying Mugshot May Be Just a Lawsuit Away

(Photo: BuzzPirates)

Remember that time, back in college, when you were arrested for drunkenly refusing to leave a party at the behest of a grizzly police officer? That incident could haunt you for the rest of your life, and not just as a black smear on your permanent record: If your mugshot shows up on any of the numerous websites that publish them, your online rep could be infinitely sullied. Paging Nick Nolte. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

The Oatmeal Is Being Sued Again

(Photo: Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal)

Deja vu? Matthew Inman, creator of the popular comic series The Oatmeal, is being sued again, this time for trademark infringement.

A greeting card company called Oatmeal Studios didn’t take kindly to Mr. Inman’s decision to collaborate with Recycled Greetings to turn his web comics into greeting cards, available for purchase in his online store. Ars Technica reports that the Massachusetts-based company has sued Mr. Inman for trademark infringement, arguing that his crossover into the ever-competitive greeting card market will confuse potential customers, who might not know The Oatmeal and Oatmeal Studios are different properties. Read More

When Lawyers Send Letters

4Chan Founder Moot Sends Cease & Desist Letter to Startup Moot.It

Mr. Poole (Photo: Wikipedia)

4Chan founder Chris Poole, who has gone by the username Moot since 2003, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Oregon-based startup Moot.It, a yet-to-launch company that promises to reimagine forums and commenting. We initially suspected the letter might be a prank from /b/, but confirmed with Mr. Poole’s lawyer, Martin Schwimmer, that it is indeed real.

Mr. Schwimmer, a partner at White Plains law firm Leason Ellis, writes that because Mr. Poole is so closely aligned with the username Moot, any attempt by Moot.It to use the name could result in confusion from users who may wrongfully believe Mr. Poole is associated with the company. Read More