Criminal Defense Attorney Analysis of Internet Pharmacy, Prescription, and Drug Law

Google Lawsuit Against Online Pharmacy Adwords Advertisers In Depth

Yesterday, I wrote about the recent lawsuit filed by Google against certain internet pharmacy advertisers.  In the lawsuit, Google alleges breach of contract against Omar Jackman, John Doe “Simon” and John Does 2-50.

Specifically, Google alleges that  Jackman registered the domain name  and opened a Google AdWords account to run advertisements for his website, John Doe “Simon” opened a Google AdWords account to run advertisements for and John Does 2-50 are other individuals (to be identified later) who opened AdWords accounts to direct traffic to their online pharmacy websites selling prescription drugs.  Defendants’ internet pharmacies, Google alleges, are not certified by VIPPS, as required by Google policies; however, the defendants, nonetheless,

“attempted to and used AdWords to advertise prescription drugs for sale to consumers in the United States.  To get their ads running, defendants violated Google’s policies and circumvented technological measures Google takes to enforce its policies.”

For example, Google alleges that the defendants used advertiserments with misspelled prescription drug names:

“Although Google has created a system to block thousand of prescription drug related terms including misspellings, Jackman and other advertisers, including the Doe defendants, continue to create new misspellings.  The combination of misspellings of drug terms is virtually limitless.”

Google alleges that while the ads were displayed for a short time, Google eventually caught the advertisements and, consequently, Jackman and John Doe “Simon’s” AdWords accounts were shut down.

Google seeks injunctive relief and damages for breach of contract against the defendants, because

“[d]efendants’ breaches have damaged Google in that, among other things, Google has been forced to take significant steps to implement systems designed to protect, detect and take action against defendants’ actions.”

This is an unusual case.  Google will have to persuade the factfinder that the defendants were the proximate cause of the creation of these alleged cost-prohibitive “systems.”

The case is styled Google, Inc. v. Omar Jackman, et al., Case No. 5:10-cv-04264-LHK, and is presently assigned to Judge Lucy Koh in the Northern District of California.  It is set for a Case Management Conference on December 20, 2010.

Related Posts: Google Files Suit Against Internet Pharmacy Advertisers

The content on this post does not constitute legal advice and is for informational purposes only.  You should not act upon the information presented on this website without seeking the advice of legal counsel.  Should you wish to speak to an experienced white collar criminal defense lawyer knowledgeable and experienced in prescription, drug and internet pharmacy law, including the Controlled Substances Act, the Ryan Haight Act amendment and Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act violations, please feel free to contact one of us directly.

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