This court case reminds me of all the funny Seinfeld episodes where they sued for ridiculous reasons, like Kramer getting burned by the coffee and the “Oh Henry” candy bar episode. The difference is, this happened in real life.
Beverly Stayart sued Yahoo because she did a search for her name and didn’t like what came back in the search results. I’ve searched my name before, hasn’t everyone? There is a popular porno chick named Diana Adams, but would I consider suing Google over it? Hell no! As a matter of fact, part of me hopes some of those weirdos I went to school with will think that’s me if they ever see it. That could be fun. When Beverly put her name into Yahoo, some of the results included pharmaceutical and sex sites.
Her attorneys surprisingly put together a pretty good case in my opinion. In the end, it came down to whether or not she could prove she had a “commercial interest” in her name. Since she is the only Beverly Stayart in the United States, if she had trademarked her name, she might have had a real case. However, since she didn’t, the Seventh Circuit Court eventually ruled that she did not have a commercial interest in her own name; and therefore, Yahoo did not damage her Internet presence.
Guess what? I know this will come as a shock, but in April, she sued Google for the same thing. The outcome of that case is yet to be seen. Hmm… this sounds like a woman with way too much time on her hands to me. Better luck next time Beverly! You can read the details of the case here.