AskJolene.com collects free erotic content ("galleries") from the web, and offers its users a dedicated full text search engine to locate galleries to their liking. The results are presented as summaries that link to their original gallery. The galleries are not hosted by AskJolene.com.
BMW AG claims that AskJolene.com infringes on its trademark rights. AskJolene's results for the search query 'bmw' contain galleries in which the word 'bmw' occurs. They also contain pornographic pictures depicting amongst other things a BMW car.
A quote from the BMW AG cease and desist order:
"Cease and desist from, with immediate effect, but ultimately not later than two days after the date of this letter, any more infringements of my clients rights, on the Website and/or any other website(s) it exploits and/or operates, and in particular:
1. to stop the showing and/or supplying of Internet weblinks that contain the word BMW; and
2. to block access to Internet websites that contain the word BMW either as metatag, in their title and/or as content"
AskJolene.com will not yield to the claim. "As far as we know, we haven't done anything wrong. Our search engine is a navigational aid. We provide a way for our users to locate galleries as quickly and conveniently as possible. If we give in to BMW's claim, other search engines will have a problem as well." according to Chief Marketing Mike Schwalbach.
AskJolene.com is a fully featured adult search engine that delivers over two million of search results to users worldwide every day. It has won international acclaim for its accuracy and its ability to deliver a targeted audience to the websites of content providers.
Hooray for them. This could be the beginning of a dangerous trend: companies trying to make a search engine block certain results. If nothing else, the search engine is not in violation of any copyright in this kind of matter. Some big-wigs just get a little too carried away.