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BlockShopper Brings in the Big Guns

Klenk Just a few days after losing its bid to dismiss a law firm's trademark lawsuit against it, the real estate Web site has called in the cavalry, Wendy Davis reports at Online Media Daily. It has retained high-powered First Amendment attorney James A. Klenk to defend it in the lawsuit brought by law firm Jones Day. Klenk, a partner in the Chicago office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, represents many mainstream news organizations, including The Chicago Tribune.

Jones Day filed the lawsuit in federal court in August after two of its associates showed up on the site, which reports on real estate sales in Chicago's upscale Lincoln Park and Lake View neighborhoods. The suit alleges trademark infringement and unfair trade practices, based on BlockShopper's use of the firm's service marks, links to its site and use of lawyers' photos from its site. Jones Day is asking the court to shut down the site.

Klenk believes a ruling against BlockShopper could have a devastating impact on online media, according to Online Media Daily. "You and I can't even count how many Web sites this would affect. It would change the way people communicate," he said. "I think what Jones Day is doing is wrong. It's an abuse of the legal process, in my opinion, and interferes with free expression."

As we reported here last week, the judge presiding over the case denied the request by four public-interest organizations -- Citizen Media Law Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Citizen and Public Knowledge -- to file a brief as amicus curiae in support of BlockShopper's motion to dismiss. U.S. District Judge John W. Darrah ruled that "an amicus curiae brief would not now be helpful."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 25, 2008 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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