Law

In August of 2014, a Florida resident brought a class action lawsuit against Google AdWords, alleging violations of advertising law. According to the complaint in the case, the defendant advertised an iPhone app through AdWords without obtaining permission from the recipient. The complaint further alleged that the defendant’s ad showed images of an iPod with a white sign pointing to AdWords and that it was displayed on devices owned by members of the class. The complaint further alleged that the defendant violated Florida advertising laws by publishing content that was targeted to violate the state’s ban on electronic mail solicitation of members of the class.

On September 5th, the plaintiff filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against Google, charging that the defendant had violated Fida laws regarding “unauthorized commercial advertising.” Pursuant to Fida Laws, it is unlawful for a publisher or website owner to advertise online or in print that encourages people to purchase products through a commercial enterprise unless that enterprise has obtained express permission from the target of that advertorial or electronic message. Florida Attorneys General argued that the complaint should be thrown out because Google had not filed any exception, and that there had been no proof that the iPod example violated any state law. On October 4th, Florida U.S. Attorneys General filed additional paperwork in support of their claim that the AdWords exception to the ban on electronic solicitation had been improperly interpreted by courts. On November 3rd, the Florida State Court granted Google’s motion to dismiss the complaint. On December 3rd, the Florida Court denied an attempt by plaintiffs to move the court towards recognizing a liability under the Florida Deceptive Advertising statute.

The plaintiffs filed an appeal of the ruling on January 9th in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida. At that time, they claimed that the district court’s ruling had been “arbitrary and capricious.” They requested that the court vacate the judgment and enjoin enforcement of the Florida AdWords exception to the ban on electronic advertisements. On March 7th, the court denied the plaintiffs’ request for an emergency temporary restraining order and instead directed the parties to resolve the case through arbitration. The plaintiffs filed an additional class action lawsuit against Google in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, claiming that the company had engaged in deceptive advertising by permitting advertisers to use the “Google AdWords Keyword” program to submit ads to consumers without ensuring that those advertisers complied with all of the state and federal advertising laws.

On April 8th, the class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. On April 10th, the lawsuit was refiled in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Florida. On May 4th, after a week of discovery, the lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. On May 6th, the plaintiffs filed their second amended complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Florida. On May 8th, the lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. On May 13th, the case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

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