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AskJolene Hit With BMW Cease-and-Desist Demand

AskJolene Hit With BMW Cease-and-Desist Demand
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Oct 12, 2004 1:27 PM PDT    Text size: 
UITGEEST, The Netherlands — German car maker BMW has sent a cease-and-desist demand to online adult search engine AskJolene.com over a number of links offered on its site, XBiz has learned.

In its letter, BMW claims that AskJolene is infringing on its trademark over web links that contain “BMW.” The car maker is also demanding that the company block access to websites that contain “BMW,” either as a “metatag in their title and/or as content.”

One of AskJolene’s links targeted by BMW involves a bondage scene that includes the apparent likeness of a BMW automobile.

But the car maker’s legal demands go well beyond the scope of visual images of BMW automobiles.

For instance, a search of “BMW” on AskJolene also includes references to “Big Mature Women,” or phrases included in galleries such as, “I was very impressed and afterwards he offered to drive me home in his BMW,” as in SleazyDream.com’s “Trailer Park Slut” site.

Uitgeest, The Netherlands-based AskJolene, which doesn’t host the sites targeted by BMW, collects free adult content from the web, offering a full-text search engine to locate galleries. It also sponsors some of its more than 900,000 galleries.

Listings are generated by spidering more than 100 million documents daily, according to Mike Schwalbach, AskJolene’s marketing manager.

“We crawl the web 24/7 looking for galleries,” he said. “Our system just follows all links on the web and knows when a gallery is a gallery. It also looks to see if it is not a cheater — so no dialers and adware — or other bad things for the surfer.”

Schwalbach told XBiz that the company is exploring a legal response.

“We think we didn't do anything wrong,” Schwalbach said. “We don't have a clue about all the legal moves right now, but we have obtained a very good lawyer who will investigate this matter.

“If we give in to BMW's claim, other search engines will have a problem as well,” he said.

At posting time, BMW at company headquarters in Munich, Germany, did not respond to XBiz email inquires.

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