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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Goldman Sachs Group quietly ends legal dispute

Goldman makes peace with blogger in trademark case

Fri Jul 17, 2009 2:33pm EDT

By Martha Graybow

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc has quietly reached an agreement to end a legal dispute with a blogger who will be allowed to keep running a website critical of the investment bank.

The agreement required blogger Michael Morgan to post a disclaimer on his goldmansachs666.com website, saying it has no affiliation with the financial firm.

Morgan, a Florida investment adviser, uses his blog -- whose name combines Goldman's name with numbers used to evoke connotations with the devil -- to criticize the bank and its large profits.

The bank this week posted a 33 percent increase in quarterly earnings on blowout trading results, putting its employees on pace for big bonuses at a time when many Americans are struggling.

A Goldman attorney had sent Morgan a cease-and-desist letter in April, contending he was violating the firm's intellectual property rights by using its trademark. Morgan then filed a complaint in federal court in Florida, seeking a ruling that he had not infringed on any trademarks.

The two sides agreed to have the litigation dismissed in court papers filed last month. The agreement was reported by The Am Law Daily legal publication.

Goldman spokeswoman Gia Moron said on Friday that "our concern about this site ceased when Mr. Morgan posted a prominent disclaimer making it clear that his site was not associated with Goldman Sachs."

(Reporting by Martha Graybow; editing by Andre Grenon)

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