In late 2005, a blogger named Smith posted an entry in which he was critical of an eBay listing company he’d had dealings with. In the post, Smith used the listing company’s logo several times. The company sued in federal court, alleging, among other things, trademark dilution. The trial court denied a motion for preliminary injunction against Smith, holding that the way in which he’d used the mark was merely for news reporting and commentary, and thus not actionable under trademark law. [Read Eric Goldman’s summary of the lower court proceedings here.]
On March 6, the Fourth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s denial of the preliminary injunction. With little substantive analysis other than to recite the factors appropriate for a court to consider in granting injunctive relief, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. So in this case, the blogger remains victorious.
BidZirk, LLC v. Smith, (Slip Op.), 2007 WL 664302 (4th Cir. March 6, 2007)