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Google suit round 2
American Blind and Wallpaper Factory
ukgimp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:39 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

American Blind and Wallpaper Factory filed suit against the search giant and its partners, AOL and Netscape, in a New York federal court Tuesday.

[news.zdnet.co.uk...]

As more of these come to light it could really have an impact on the way things are done. Interesting times ahead.

 

bcolflesh

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:46 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Let's hope that this leads to a suit against American Blinds and Wallpaper by:

American Foundation for the Blind
American Council of the Blind

ogletree

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:51 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

They should sue Google for allowing people in the free results as well.

ukgimp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:55 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

I suspect you would have a different opinion if a trademark of yours was being targeted or you main website name by a competitor. :)

This can be a serious issue for some. I bet it would not be long before the law were involved if G's trademark was being used in a similar way by someone. In fact you can bet your life.

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:58 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

This thread from the AdWords forum seems appropriate here:

[webmasterworld.com...]

ukgimp

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 4:15 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

They buckled under pressure from Ebay and Loui Vuitton (however you spell it)

As more people take them to task over this, more will follow. This will have in impact on process of adwords as G will no longer be able to let adwords users to themselves. Instead they will have to vet in some way, the terms used. Simply passing the buck onto the adwords poster is clearly not going to cut it anymore.

Ogletree, dont follow my friend. :)

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 8:06 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

Agreed...and most of all they have to stop SUGGESTING trademarked terms with the Keyword Suggestion Tool.

THAT irritates me a lot.

redzone

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 8:10 pm on Jan 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

American Blind has been enforcing their trademark in Organic SERPS also, but directly against the "offending" site..

What is interesting about this Trademark, is that there is a distinct possibility that some could be searching for: American blinds indicating they are looking for blinds manufacturers in America, specifically...

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 2:49 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

How is using the trademark name of a competitor as an adword in any way different than telling the New York Times that you want an ad on the same page as an ad of a competitor?

Why is everyone afraid of a little "well informed consumer" direct comparison advertising?

Basing a business model on the consumer *not finding* the competition is BAD for the consumer!

Let them know their options and make up their own minds.

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 2:54 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

How is using the trademark name of a competitor as an adword in any way different than telling the New York Times that you want an ad on the same page as an ad of a competitor?

Why is everyone afraid of a little "well informed consumer" direct comparison advertising?

It is ok for sprint to buy a billboard and say "we are better than AT&T" (as long as the claim is backed up by objective facts).

Why should't I be able to advertise on G and say my widget is better than your widget.

What is so 'holy' about the search string?

Basing a business model on the consumer *not finding* the competition is BAD for the consumer!

Let them know their options, see all the competition, and make up their own minds.

The well informed consumer knows best.

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:14 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

The reason is because people spend lots of money creating a brand that did not exist before. It is very annoying and insulting to the people that built the brand when someone wants to 'borrow' it for their own financial gain.

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:28 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

They own the brand not the mind of the consumer searching.

If I wish to have the New York Times display my newspaper ad next to my competitor's ad I imagine I might have to fill out a form in which I must *write out* the brand name of my competitor. This is no different than telling G where I want my search ad to appear. The trademark appears nowhere *except* in my instructions to G and in the *users* search string.

If the internet is to be a truly democratic marketplace (its real strength, IMHO) then anything which promotes the competition of ideas and products is a good thing.

"building a brand" successfully does not mean hiding from the competition. If your brand is worth anything at all it should be able to withstand the competition.

Competition and a well informed consumer are good for *everybody* involved.

I say 'Bring it on!"

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 4:11 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

I think true competition is building your own brand to compete, not 'leeching' from an existing one.

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 4:25 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

call it what you will....it is good for the consumer.

What is good for the consumer is good for business!

shorebreak

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 11:57 pm on Jan 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

QFGuy, you are RIGHT on the mark! It's no different that your newspaper ad analogy, and it's no different than Jiffy peanut butter paying a supermarket to be placed next to Skippy in the peanut butter section of the aisle.

To apply the search analogy to the supermarket, Skippy is asking that, in cases where the consumer comes to the supermarket with Skippy in mind, that the supermarket clear the area, the aisle and the entire store of all products, leaving only Skippy in the store.

How lame. And if you're on the other side of the argument, please respond - the fallacy of American Blinds' argument seems so self-evident that I can only assume the case is being brought by someone with no morals.

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 1:38 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually, in some ways it is more like Jiffy changing their name to Skipy and using a similar logo. You cannot pay a supermarket to be 'near' a certain brand. You can only pay slotting fees to be on higher/lower shelves, or the most expensive, end of isle displays.

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 3:48 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually, in some ways it is more like Jiffy changing their name to Skipy and using a similar logo.

Huh?

I use some of my competitors names as keywords and my company's name bears no resemblance to theirs. No consumer would be confused in the slightest.

also, adwords ads do not display logos.

If someone searches for 'avis' they are best served by *also* seeing ads for 'hertz' etc.....

healthy competition makes things better!

You can only pay slotting fees to be on higher/lower shelves, or the most expensive, end of isle displays.

I'd be willing to bet that when skippy pays the fee for good placement on the shelf, Jiffy is *very* likely to follow suit. Coincidence?

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 5:54 am on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

What about all the money that Avis spends on TV commercials, which cause a consumer to go online and search for 'avis'? They deserve to find Avis, not Hertz. I think yes, when searching for 'rental car' their should be competition every time, but not for actual brands. That is the whole point of a brand.

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 10:10 pm on Jan 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

They deserve to find Avis, not Hertz.

They do. and if they find some other options along the way, all the better! Better for the consumer. better for Hertz AND Avis and better for competition.

HughMungus

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 6:19 pm on Feb 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

If someone searches for 'avis' they are best served by *also* seeing ads for 'hertz' etc.....

Because the net effect is that Google is making money off someone else's brand.

Would you be OK if a spammer used your company name as the subject of its spam in order to get people to read the message?

qfguy

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 9:35 pm on Feb 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Would you be OK if a spammer used your company name as the subject of its spam in order to get people to read the message?

Since I believe in the 1st amendment, I'd have to say yes. As long as they are not trying to fool the consumer into thinking that the email is from me then I'd have no problem with it.

In fact, just yesterday I got some snail mail from Sprint which had a comparison *right on the front* of the circular compairing themselves to AT&T!

Can you believe it?

Because the net effect is that Google is making money off someone else's brand.

As does many a publisher selling advertising! God Bless 'em!

Look, Trademarks exist to prevent brand confusion *not* in order to 'own' the word. The exist only so that someone does not try to confuse the consumer and pretend to be the brand when they are not.

In fact you can use the someone's trademark, logo, pictures etc all you want for the purposes of comparission advertising. This is done in the US all them time and both the FTC and Supreme Court have held it as legal as long as you do not 'defame' the other product and that the comparision are 'objective' in nature and truthful.

The only person 'using' the actual text of the Trademark is the consumer performing the search. The ad does not. As long as the ad does not try to confuse the consumer but rather gives the consumer *more* choices, I for one think everyone is served well.

If Dell computer decides to run an ad in Mac World Magazine to try to get Apple Computer enthusisats to switch to Dell, is that ok? Like the Google user, the Mac World reader is *looking* for info on the mac *not* Dell. Dell would clearly be 'trading' on the Apple Brand, wouldn't it? Is Mac World 'profiting' from this? You bet. Is it good for the consumer? You bet. Is it good capitalism? Yup!

Here is some basic info on the purpose of trademarks (Mods delete URL if you feel necessary, but it is good info)
[copylaw.com ]

the key concept in my mind is:

"... the test for trademark infringement asks whether the ordinary buyer -- not looking for subtle differences or fine details -- would believe both products (or services) came from the same source. "

finer9

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 200 posted 8:14 pm on Feb 3, 2004 (gmt 0)

I don't know about you guys, but my Google suit is quite comfy (looking in mirror)...

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