Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Judicial Notice of Internet Evidence — Court Can Take Judicial Notice of the Fact That Search Engines Index Web Content and Dynamically Return Relevant Search Results in Response to User-Entered Search Terms

Carter v. Oath Holdings, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104510, 2018 WL 3067985 (N.D. Cal. June 21, 2018):

Plaintiff Brian K. Carter brings this trademark infringement action against Defendant Oath Holdings, Inc. Compl., ECF 1-1. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or in the alternative, for a more definite statement pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e). Mot. to Dismiss, ECF 17. Defendant also filed a motion for a protective order staying discovery. Mot. for Stay of Discovery, ECF 48. Pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b), the Court finds Defendant's motions to be suitable for submission without oral argument. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion to dismiss is GRANTED with LEAVE TO AMEND, motion for a more definite statement is GRANTED, and motion for a protective order staying discovery is GRANTED.


Plaintiff resides in Ohio and allegedly owns a trademark registration for "The House of Figurine" Compl. at iii, ECF 1-1. Plaintiff initiated this trademark infringement action in state court naming "Yahoo Incorporate" as the defendant. See Compl. On December 13, 2017, Defendant removed this action based on federal question jurisdiction. Notice of Removal, ECF 1. In its notice of removal, Defendant states that "Yahoo Incorporate" does not exist. Id. at 1 n.1. Defendant further states that insofar as Plaintiff's Complaint identifies "Yahoo! Inc." as the defendant, "Yahoo! Inc." transferred all liabilities relevant to Plaintiff's claims to "Yahoo Holdings, Inc." Id. On May 5, 2018, Defendant filed a notice stating that it has changed its name to "Oath Holdings, Inc." ECF 47.

Defendant provides a search engine ("Yahoo Search") that allows people to search the Internet. The Court takes judicial notice of the well-known fact that internet search engines index third-party web content and dynamically return relevant search results in response to user-entered search terms. Fed. R. Evid. 201(b)(1); Perfect 10, Inc. v. Giganews, Inc., No. CV11-07098, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71349, 2013 WL 2109963, at *1 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 8, 2013), aff'd, 847 F.3d 657 (9th Cir. 2017) (taking judicial notice of how content is searched and [*3]  stored in an online network service).

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