Personal Injury Attorney Paul K. Schrier Sued Over Online Pay-Per-Click Ads
Search engine optimization and Google AdWords are must-know terms of art for any business that wants to recruit web visitors using keywords to drive online traffic from searches to companies.
Now the way law firms generate business on the web may be the impetus for a wave of litigation by attorneys who say their competitors are infringing on their trademarks to siphon off business using the Google platform.
West Palm Beach attorney Michael J. Pike, a partner at Pike & Lustig, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit Thursday on behalf of the high-profile personal injury law firm Steinger, Iscoe & Greene.
The West Palm Beach firm took aim at Miami attorney Paul K. Schrier, who markets his statewide practice on the website FirstCallPaul.com.
The lawsuit assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami accuses Schrier of buying Google AdWords that included Steigner, Iscoe & Greene to get his name to appear at the top of Google searches.
AdWords is a form of pay-per-click advertising, a service that lets businesses create and run ads on the world's largest search engine.
Schrier deleted the law firm as an AdWord pushing users to his FirstCallPaul.com after a cease-and-desist letter was sent to him. However, his law practice still tops results for keywords to other well-known personal injury firms for plaintiffs, such as Gordon & Doner in Fort Lauderdale.
Steinger, Iscoe & Greene and Gordon & Doner advertise heavily throughout South Florida, notably on highway billboards.
"This lawsuit is a warning to all law firms in the state of Florida that they need to cease infringing on the Steinger, Iscoe & Greene trademark to line their pockets with money," Pike said.
The lawsuit claims violations of Florida's trademark statute, unfair competition, dilution of trademark through tarnishment and violation of the Anti-Cybersquating Consumer Protection Act.