Stayart's suits against Google and Yahoo were dismissed (for failure to state a claim and, in Yahoo's case, lack of jurisdiction as well) on March 8th. Here is the order in the Yahoo case.
ORIGINAL POST -- 10/1/2010
Today the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of a somewhat quixotic Lanham Act claim by a woman named Beverly "Bev" Stayart. From the opinion:
Like many, Beverly Stayart was curious about what she would find when she put her name into a search engine. In this case it was Yahoo. To her dismay, the comprehensive search results eventually contained links to websites and advertisements that she found shameful. She then sued Yahoo and the other defendants alleging trademark infringement and a host of state law claims. The district court dismissed her complaint, finding she lacked standing under the Lanham Act to sue for trademark infringement. She appeals, and because we agree that Stayart lacks standing under the Lanham Act, we affirm.Some interesting factoids after the jump.
1) The district court judge was our old friend Judge Randa in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. At the hearing on the motion to dismiss he is reported to have said, "If there had been an Internet in the '30s, this is the kind of lawsuit Adolf Hitler would have brought."*
2) Judge Randa denied as "futile" Stayart's request for leave to amend her complaint to add state law claims (in case her Lanham Act was dismissed). In response, Stayart filed two additional suits -- one against Yahoo and one against Google. These suits are based exclusively on Wisconsin state law (and include no Lanham Act claim.) Both are currently pending.
3) A google search of "Bev Stayart" brings up, among other things, a copy of her resume and her LinkedIn profile. [It also brings up pictures of her. She looks like a sweet lady.] According to these sources, she is currently the "CFO" at "Stayart Law Offices" in Elkhorn, WI. But she is not a lawyer.
4) Gregory Stayart, however, is a lawyer, and he is apparently the proprietor of the Stayart Law Offices. He is also the attorney of record in Stayart v. Yahoo! et al. According to the records available on PACER, he has appeared on only three cases in the Eastern District of Wisconsin: the two Stayart v. Yahoo cases and the Stayart v. Google case. According to the Internet, he has been licensed to practice law since 1969.
5) Stayart's complaint against Google alleges, in paragraph 36:
Bev Stayart has a unique and distinctive personal name. Beverly Stayart has a unique and distinctive name. Plaintiff is the only "Bev Stayart" and the only "Beverly Stayart" on the Internet. "Bev Stayart" refers to her, and only to her. "Beverly Stayart" refers to her, and only to her. She uses both names in all her endeavors.[Quesiton: Can one person have two unique and distinctive personal names?]
6) Bart Torvik also has a unique and distinctive personal name. I am the only Bart Torvik on the Internet. Bart Torvik refers to me and only me! I use my name in all my endeavors. (Well, most of them. I also have unique and distinctive aliases that I am not at liberty to divulge.)
7) According to her online resume, Bev & Beverly Stayart has the following interests, among others:
Bev Stayart likes antique cars. ... Bev Stayart is a member of several Internet forums in which Bev Stayart discusses antique cars. You can learn more about Bev Stayart and her interest in antique cars by visiting www.ferrari-talk.com and www.benzworld.org.
Bev Stayart also likes sailing. You can learn more about Bev Stayart and her interest in sailing at www.cruisersforum.com of which Bev Stayart is a member and makes frequent posts.
Bev Stayart likes to cook and has a number of favorite recipes, including artichoke risotto. Bev Stayart discusses her interest in cooking at www.discusscooking.com and www.veggieboards.com.
Bev Stayart studied piano as a child and has a lifelong interest in all types of music. You can learn more about her musical interests at www.music-discussion.com.
Bev Stayart learned to play billiards and pool as a child and continues to enjoy these sports today. You can learn more about her interest in billiards at www.billiardsforum.com.
Bev Stayart enjoys swimming and diving and has an interest in oceanography and scuba diving. Please visit www.scubaboard.com to learn more about Bev Stayart.
Bev Stayart likes suing Internet search engines. To learn more about this hobby, please visit http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2010/04/beverly_stayart.htm*I could go on for some time, but I will stop now.
*Portions of this factoid may be made up.