Scherba Industries v. Google, Inc., 1:10-cv-02288 (N.D. Ohio complaint filed Oct. 7, 2010). Scherba maker of giant inflatable gorillas has a copyright registration for a 3D sculptural work called “Gorilla Inflatable.” Recently, Google ran an ad campaign promoting its AdWords service in periodicals like Entrepreneur and Crain’s Cleveland Business. The ad copy includes a picture of a large inflatable gorilla that looks similar to Scherba’s gorilla.
Google shows the inflatable gorilla as an apparent advertiser alternative to AdWords–either you can put your ad on top of an inflatable gorilla, or you can place your ads with Google. The ad copy doesn’t identify the gorilla. So Scherba sued Google for copyright infringement for showing the picture of an inflated gorilla in its ad copy.
Here’s an image right out of the lawsuit:
And here’s the Google ad in question, also from the lawsuit: