KINGSTON, NY, 13 December
2012 — In a December 10th decision, New York Federal Judge Katherine B.
Forrest ruled in favor of Trend Forecaster Gerald Celente’s claims that
bloggers are exploiting his internationally known name and reputation.
Pending the case’s outcome, the Judge ordered Google to immediately disable
blogs operated by impostors.
The Court ruled that Celente owns a valid and strong trademark in his
personal name, and the bloggers were causing irreparable damage to his
reputation through websites that have led consumers to mistakenly believe
they are authorized by Celente.
Dyan Finguerra-DuCharme of Pryor Cashman LLP, Celente’s New York City
attorney, believes that the case could set precedent with wide-ranging
implications for Google (who owns Blogger) and for the Internet in general.
She said if the case against Google succeeds, it could set precedent in
New York holding internet hosting services accountable for misconduct
by users when the hosts take no action once they become aware of claims
Over the past year, Celente and his attorneys have filed numerous detailed
complaints with Google substantiating his claims of trademark infringement,
unfair competition and impersonation. However, Google replied only with
irrelevant boilerplate responses:
Thanks for Your reply.
Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that
content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims
about the URLs or content of these pages. In cases involving trademark,
if a contact email address is listed on the blog, we recommend you working
directly with the author to have the information in question removed or
The Blogger Team
The suit also charges that the impostor bloggers, by using the Gerald
Celente trademark without authorization, are profiting off his name by
driving ad clicks that generate revenue.
Moreover, some of the blogs contain offensive, damaging and inflammatory
postings: “The contents of the infringing blogs appear, inter alia, calculated
to harm Mr. Celente by suggesting that Mr. Celente is the source of certain
offensive political and social contents, including anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic
statements,” the lawsuit states. “Most recently, the infringing blogs
have gone as far as making statements about the Vatican being terrorists,
Islamic extremism and recent Libyan assassinations, leaving Mr. Celente
fearing for his safety given the current political climate.”
Celente is suing Google under two unfair competition claims essentially
charging that Google allowed the sham blogs to impersonate him, against
their own policies that explicitly ban impersonation, and in violation
of the Lanham Act.
“From what I learned after court, listening to their counsel, was that
the only way to get Google to enforce their own impostor policy was to
force them to do it,” observed Celente. “Google displayed a high-handed
arrogance that I would sum up as: ‘We're Google, we're too busy and too
big to bother with you, and we won't listen to you. Take your problem
with the bloggers to court.’
“My case is a trademark violation issue and the bloggers are riding off
the goodwill of my trademark to make a profit,” he said. “Yet, Google's
counsel claims it is a First Amendment issue and that Google has ‘a broad
interpretation of the First Amendment.’ Thus, rather than address legitimate
complaints, it appears Google intends to evade the trademark issue by
trying to hide behind the First Amendment.
“Thus, anyone being preyed upon by malicious impostors as I have been
will be forced to take the Google Giant to court in order to get any satisfaction.
“My hope,” concluded Celente, “is that this case will set a precedent;
that it will definitively establish the difference between ‘free speech’
and a ‘trademark’ … bring Google down to earth and get them to live up
to their corporate motto, ‘Don't be Evil’."
To schedule an interview with Gerald Celente or his attorney, please contact:
Media Relations, The Trends Journal
(845) 331.3500 ext. 1