Yahoo Doesn’t Take Beef Over Akaushi Keyword Lawsuit

Eric Goldman covers a recent lawsuit where Heartbrand Beef, Inc. sued several companies, including Yahoo, for selling the keyword “Akaushi” to Lobel’s of New York. Akaushi is a very expensive Japanese type of beef, known for being marbled with fat and coming out extremely tender. Lobel’s does not sell Akaushi, but Heartbrand is the largest […]

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Eric Goldman covers a recent lawsuit where Heartbrand Beef, Inc. sued several companies, including Yahoo, for selling the keyword “Akaushi” to Lobel’s of New York. Akaushi is a very expensive Japanese type of beef, known for being marbled with fat and coming out extremely tender.

Lobel’s does not sell Akaushi, but Heartbrand is the largest Akaushi cattle company outside of Japan and they felt that Lobel’s was being deceitful with their ads at Yahoo. Heartbrand also felt Yahoo allowing the ad “constituted Lanham Act false designation of origin and common law unfair competition,” said Goldman.

The court felt the suit did not make sense, they said, “Yahoo! obviously does not fit into these classic models [of false designation of origin] because Yahoo! is not in the business of selling beef.” And they reject the claim because “(1) Yahoo doesn’t make any “statement” (the advertiser does), and (2) even if Yahoo does make a statement, it’s not designating the origin of Yahoo’s offerings,” said Goldman.

Not everyone agrees with Goldman on Yahoo’s victory, for other commentary see Rebecca Tushnet and Ryan Gile.


About the author

Barry Schwartz
Staff
Barry Schwartz is a technologist and a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics.

In 2019, Barry was awarded the Outstanding Community Services Award from Search Engine Land, in 2018 he was awarded the US Search Awards the "US Search Personality Of The Year," you can learn more over here and in 2023 he was listed as a top 50 most influential PPCer by Marketing O'Clock.

Barry can be followed on X here and you can learn more about Barry Schwartz over here or on her personal site.

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