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Google Loses French Appeal
Brett_Tabke




msg:1233104
 7:34 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

Internet search engine Google has lost its appeal against a court ruling over trademark infringement brought about by two French travel companies.

Google must now pay 75,000 euros ($100,300; 52,000) in damages and costs to Luteciel and Viaticum.


 

akmac




msg:1233105
 8:49 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Has legal precedent been set yet in the US for this "type" of suit?

A significant blip on the Google radar screen I'm sure.

Let's see if other nations follow suit...

antonaf




msg:1233106
 9:09 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

As an advertiser is it wise to take Google to court over something like this. Wouldn't this make Google remove/ban your URL, links, name, and company altogether within their databases and advertising platforms? I'm sure that can cost you more than 75,000 euros.

But then again, trademark infringement is trademark infringement. I'm on the fence with this one.

Crustov




msg:1233107
 9:37 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's difficult for me to understand why Google is solely responsible for this.

Does anyone feel that those who were running the campaign should be held responsible for this type of infringement as well?

For example, if I post an ad in a newspaper, advertising an illegal service, is the newspaper solely liable for any damages? I kind of doubt it.

bateman_ap




msg:1233108
 9:55 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

As an advertiser is it wise to take Google to court over something like this. Wouldn't this make Google remove/ban your URL, links, name, and company altogether within their databases and advertising platforms? I'm sure that can cost you more than 75,000 euros.

Most companies who would think of bringing this sort of claim don't care at all about Search Engine traffic. The most important thing is their brand. We do work for a lot of "luxury" companies and they are exceptionally protective of their brand, just to get approval of a simple press ad means they have to be signed off by about 10 different departments from London to Milan. They don't feel that the internet is really of that much use to them. You can see the point when they are selling 50k diamonds.

TheGuyAboveYou




msg:1233109
 10:40 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow. Thats like .00000001 cents to them. Page might
have that on him :). Or maybe take a trip to the ATM.

idoc




msg:1233110
 10:51 pm on Mar 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Right now I have two URL's buying ad clicks on our registered name and the domains show to be registered to an entity in the Antilles. We don't have jurisdiction for redress against an entity in the Antilles. Our only recourse would be with the US search/marketing firm that went into partnership with the Antilles entity for the express purpose of profiting by sharing revenue from the unauthorized use of our registered name. I know this has been heard before. But, I really believe these type trademark claims have merit in some cases.

hurlimann




msg:1233111
 2:00 am on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

The BBC claim the current Google policy is that if it is judged an advertiser uses a trademarked term as a "keyword trigger" those words are banned. ( taken out in corporate speak).

Hardly! I just searched for a range of world famous trademarked brand names using just the "trademark".

All had at least 8 advertisers most of which clearly had no permission to use from the trademark owner.

musicales




msg:1233112
 8:08 am on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Does that mean McDonalds infringes copyright everytime someone asks for a Coke and they say 'do you mean a McDonald's Cola?'

Wlauzon




msg:1233113
 10:10 am on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

if it is judged an advertiser uses a trademarked term as a "keyword trigger" those words are banned.

That depends. For example, we sell Acme Widgets. As long as we are an authorized dealer for Acme Widgets, we have the right to use that trademark in our advertising. However, if we use Doofus Widgets as a key word, and they complain, then we would have to stop.

Leosghost




msg:1233114
 11:33 am on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Whilst certainly being no fan of the French legal system ( I live much of the time here and am obliged to suffer it's idiosyncrasies...to use a kind word ..the french word is to do with cows ;-) ..*vacher...
*
I nevertheless am 100% behind this judgement ..my trade mark is my trade mark ..yours is yours ..and uptil Google started their policy of letting adwords contain the trade marks of others this peice of law was respected internationally ...

This legal rectification and call to order has been overlong in coming ...

Google policy on trademarks and copyright has always been something akin to (encouraging for financial gain the services of reproductive actions between two other bodies ).. ( or "maq" in french ) ..ie :they encourage you to break the law of trademark infringement by actively adverstising that they have a vehicule ( adwords) that you can use to do it ..and then claim to be innocent and not involved when you do ..

"Wasn't us Guv!..nah ..we wuz just there like"

They might just aswell be advertising a "guns guarranteed to be able shoot innocents ..for hire" ..and then standing "wide eyed and innocent" at the crime scene outside of their gun shop ..'cept in their case it's inside their serps )..
It's difficult for me to understand why Google is solely responsible for this

Where did you get that they were being considered the only ones responsible?..the companies who placed the ads are also being sued by the companies affected..the affected companies sued google because their business model is based upon the non respect of laws of trademark law and copyright ..and the active encouragement by their own ads for adwords to others to be equally cavalier with those laws ...

I await with eagerness the propagation of this legal decision into other juristictions and thus the return of the rule of law ( at least in these fields )as opposed to the rule of the checkbook ...

I don't want for "G" or any search engine to go broke ..but their business model cannot continue be built on condoning and encouraging and facilitating illegal actions by others ..

edited for speeling and 'cos I tripped the bad word filter ..wasn't trying to offend :)..

<added..I would point out tho that almost every shop in France that sells "five pocket jeans" refers to them as "501's" in their "in shop" ad's ..wether or not they actually are "501's" ..but then don't look for "legal consistency" here :)/added>

[edited by: Leosghost at 11:50 am (utc) on Mar. 17, 2005]

zygomar




msg:1233115
 11:47 am on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

I agree with you but the thing is that the name of the company can be translated into: "auction travel"

In France you can register almost any kind of word.

I have to confess that about one year ago I had a discussion with this company. I said to them that honestly I didn't know them before and that I could type in as a query "auction travel" without thinking of their company.

Maybe tomorrow, they will complain about the search engine results and ask Google to return only their domain name to the "auction travel" query. Where are we going to?

I think that the decision is bad for the Internet, is bad for Google, is bad for us and is even bad for them.

Leosghost




msg:1233116
 12:13 pm on Mar 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

With respect ."auction" doesn't really translate as "bourse" ..more as exchange ..as in "stock exchange" ..and "bourse" ( the two most common usages such as "London st*ck exchange" et "Bourse de Londres" ) or "saved money"..the other one would trip the "bad word" filter here..

However the point would IMO be more akin to that of say "Easy" as in "Stavros" ..everyone would accept that using the words "easy" and "jet" next to each other would be an attempt to "hijack" a search and to "infringe on a trademark" ..( even tho the word "easy" can be considered in other circumstances to be "generic" )..

In France you can register almost any kind of word.

I WISH!..its's waaaaaay harder to register anything as trade mark in France than in the UK or USA or just about anywhere else ..I know ..I have some in all three juristictions ...

You can open a business in France with the same name as one in another town nearby ..but you can get yer posterior sued off ..if it is trading in similar goods or services ..been there ...sued the offending part off someone ..:)

Logic also would have to dictate that if you are smarter than the next guy or girl and think of a really good brand name and trademark it ..that "G" or someone can't just "hijack"it ...Why do we all agonise over domain names or rush to register something in the miidle of the night ..or collect the domain names ..for possible future sale ..No point if any passing search engine can just "ripp em off"..or offer the use of them to the biggest check book on the block? ...

Would ruin the business models of more than one member here ..Webwork comes to mind ..and how would Brett fell if someone starts buying adwords using "WebmasterWorld" to aquire traffic ..to their search engine fora site ..?

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