December 6, 2013 - Online auto parts retailer Parts.com received some bad news on December 4 when a California federal judge dismissed its trademark infringement lawsuit against Google and left only one infringement claim standing in its suit against Yahoo.
Parts.com filed lawsuits against Google and Yahoo alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition, because a search for the Parts.com name on either search engine brings not only the company's website results but also sponsored ads that the plaintiff claims include the Parts.com trademark.
Google argued that all six of Parts.com's claims against it were barred by the doctrine of laches, because Parts.com waited 5.5 years to file suit after initially sending Google a cease-and-desist letter in 2007. All of Parts.com's claims were bound by a statute of limitations of three to four years each. Parts.com claimed that Google stopped infringing in January 2008 and began again later, but the judge declared that Parts.com's delay in filing suit was unreasonable.
The judge let Parts.com's federal trademark infringement claim against Yahoo stand because the plaintiff adequately proved that Yahoo's actions were likely to cause consumer confusion.