BMW has ordered ‘adult’ (pornographic material) search engine AskJolene.com to immediately remove a number of results from its index and to blacklist the providers of the documents but AskJolene says it will not yield to the claim.
AskJolene.com collects free erotic contents (“galleries”) from the web, and offers its users a dedicated full text search engine to locate galleries. The results are presented as summaries that link to their original gallery. The galleries themselves are not hosted by AskJolene.com, the company says.
BMW claims that AskJolene.com infringes on its trademark rights. AskJolene’s results for the search query ‘BMW’ contain galleries in which the word ‘BMW’ occurs. They also contain pornographic pictures depicting, among other things, a BMW car.
The BMW cease and desist order is worded thus:
“Cease and desist from, with immediate effect, but ultimately not later than two days after the date of this letter, any more infringements of my clients rights, on the Website and/or any other website(s) it exploits and/or operates, and in particular:
(a) to stop the showing and/or supplying of Internet weblinks that contain the word BMW; and
(b) to block access to Internet websites that contain the word BMW either as metatag, in their title and/or as content”
AskJolene.com says it will not yield to the claim.
“As far as we know, we haven’t done anything wrong. Our search engine is a navigational aid. We provide a way for our users to locate galleries as quick and convenient as possible. If we give in to BMW’s claim, other search engines will have a problem as well,” according to chief marketing man Mike Schwalbach.
AskJolene.com describes itself as is a fully featured adult search engine that delivers over two million of search results to users worldwide every day. It claims to have won international acclaim for its accuracy and its ability to deliver a targeted audience to the websites of content providers.