homepage Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 107.22.70.215
register, free tools, login, search, subscribe, help, library, announcements, recent posts, open posts,
Pubcon Platinum Sponsor
Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdWords
Forum Library, Charter, Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Google AdWords Forum

    
Google Faces Class Action on Trademark Policy
Google's Use of Trademarked Names Going to Trial
incrediBILL




msg:3915029
 6:21 pm on May 16, 2009 (gmt 0)

Right on the heels of Google's new Trademark Policy come several lawsuits:

On Monday, FPX filed a class-action suit against Google in federal court in Texas, saying that Google had infringed on its trademark and challenging Google’s policies on behalf of all trademark owners in the state. Legal experts said it was the first class-action suit against Google over the issue.

[nytimes.com...]

Another case Google recently won was overturned on appeal and will go to trial:
Google's ability to continue to use other companies' trademarked names in selling and placing advertising will be decided at trial. That's the message sent last Friday by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which vacated an earlier ruling in Google's favor.

[arstechnica.com...]

My suspicion is their loosening of the rules on using trademarks is based on winning the lawsuit that was just overturned.

Wouldn't you wait for the final outcome before adding more fuel to the fire?

See more about the new Google Trademark Policy here:
[webmasterworld.com...]

[edited by: incrediBILL at 6:27 pm (utc) on May 16, 2009]

 

JS_Harris




msg:3915482
 9:57 pm on May 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

If Google loses this one I wonder what will happen to all "fan-sites" or other sites who form clubs about specific products or services because they like the company. A win against Google may very well lead to a win against every site out there that displays an ad on the same page as a trademarked term... and that would NOT be in anyones best interest.

StoutFiles




msg:3915484
 9:59 pm on May 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

If Google backed down on this, wouldn't there be hardly any words left for the small fish to fight over?

zeus




msg:3915512
 11:35 pm on May 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

You got to be kidding about case FPX case, if I was Google I would ban the site at once, also I see many cases coming in the future against Google, why dont they move there company out of USA.

ogletree




msg:3915556
 3:09 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google needs to have a policy that anybody who sues them gets banned from organic results, adwords, and any other service google has.

incrediBILL




msg:3915585
 4:32 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google needs to have a policy that anybody who sues them gets banned from organic results, adwords, and any other service google has.

Then the government would be forced to step in when Google punishes those sites trying to protect their brand and copyright.

Besides, it wouldn't be right to search for a specific brand and see all other brands pop up because you were looking for that specific brand only. What makes sense is to see all resellers of the brand you search for displayed, unless you use a more generic search term.

ogletree




msg:3915596
 5:14 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Your right specially since the Gov is about to start cracking down on that kind of stuff.

It should be ok to type in a brand and a bunch of people that sell that item show up and can mention that they sell that brand or to put up an add that says that your brand is better than the other brand or put up an add that says some brand sucks and ripped you off.

JS_Harris




msg:3915630
 6:54 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had a discussion with a good friend about this and he made me take a step backwards. A key point of his was "Google can accept money and display whatever they want". He's right.

If I write an article about a company and say you're better off going to another company instead that's my right as well. I think Google has a strong case here, if a company doesn't want it's brand name used by competition the company should go after the competition, not the medium, in my opinion.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 6:56 am (utc) on May 18, 2009]

2clean




msg:3915634
 7:14 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I doubt it's deliberate but what a great way to get some publicity about the bidding on trademark program.

piatkow




msg:3915675
 9:19 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

UK Supermarkets happily quote each others' brand names with price comparison ads.

PCInk




msg:3915693
 10:36 am on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sounds a bit backwards to me. If you sell ABC Widgets but can't bid on ABC, how are you going to promote them?

[edited by: PCInk at 10:36 am (utc) on May 18, 2009]

300m




msg:3915855
 4:00 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think I might be a minority on this one. While I can certainly understand that people would want to bid on trademark keywords is a fair policy, I do not share that opinion. I also do not share the opinion that they should use the keyword in their ads.

This is nothing more than Google easing up on already loose conditional restrictions because mom and pop advertirsers are going to the wayside because they cant compete. So to Bring some of that revenue back to the shareholders they are changing a policy and putting the screws to all of us because they will dictate who and how someone spends money on tradmarked keywords.

I can say that I dont think it will cause too much harm because if anyone here who has trademark terms with their company they more than likely know that Google has always allowed major resellers to use the trademark in the keyword.

Sooner or later Google is going to lose one of these lawsuits and I hope trademarks is the one that does it.

Its a cheaper and easier way for resellers to make money that a company would have already made by years and years of branding. Resellers should be making money, but not at the expense of a company that sells it to a reseller at a discount.

I can already see that many companies will react by updating their TOS when working with resellers.

jkwilson78




msg:3915973
 8:01 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Besides, it wouldn't be right to search for a specific brand and see all other brands pop up because you were looking for that specific brand only.

I disagree, I can't count the number of times I have searched on a product or company name for the sole purpose of finding competing products.

But I don't think a competing advertiser should be able to use the brand or trademark keywords in their ad text unless they are resellers.

What I always find amusing is that often times people complaining about others bidding on their trademark are often in turn bidding on their competitor's trademarks.

skibum




msg:3916029
 8:37 pm on May 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I can say that I dont think it will cause too much harm because if anyone here who has trademark terms with their company they more than likely know that Google has always allowed major resellers to use the trademark in the keyword.

Isn't that only if the TM owner has filed paperwork with Google to permit specific accounts to use the TMs (in the US anyway)?

IMHO, the way they had it was good, can't use the TM in ad text. It facilitates comparative advertising without causing confusion about which ad is the one that should lead to the TM owners website. If TM owners wanted to allow distributors to sell their proructs, they would grant them permission.

Another option could be that TM owners have the right to buy top placement for thier own TMs at $0.05 per click and are the only ones who may use the TM in ad text if that is what they desire while anyone can use the TM keyword as a trigger for an ad.

There is the ShoeMoney Media lawsuit going as well. That one will be interesting.

ogletree




msg:3916149
 1:31 am on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

What this does is lesson the load on Google and puts the work on the trademark owner. The way it is now the trademark owner just files the form and they are done. Google has to deal with all the requests. So instead of emails from a zillion advertisers they just get emails from the TM owners.

vincevincevince




msg:3916259
 6:45 am on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Allowing placing ads for one brand on another brand's terms supports a free and fair market, helps competition and promotes consumer choice. It means that companies need to continue to demonstrate to their customers that they are the right choice - because the customers regularly get to see what the competitor is offering. If a company worries so much about their customers leaving for the competition, perhaps it is because the company knows they aren't actually the best choice.

This is especially the case in commoditised markets - e.g. domain names - where someone searching for a legacy big-name registrar would be very well served by seeing much lower priced and better quality offerings from newer entrants to the market.

kushmania




msg:3916427
 1:27 pm on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe they should now go after the big supermarket chains. Eliminate the current isle setups and only have manufacturer based isles. This way, if I'm shopping for my favorite box of cereals, I'm less likely to see other competing brands.

oh...wait a minute, they don't own the store.... hmmm

300m




msg:3916506
 3:13 pm on May 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Skibum -Isn't that only if the TM owner has filed paperwork with Google to permit specific accounts to use the TMs (in the US anyway)?

google does that, but when it comes to big advertisers like amazon, eblay, target, and so on, they get away with much more because they spend much more money than most companies do.

Vince - While I do not agree with the ethics of conquest ads, I am not 100% against it. I would not do that because it invites competors to do the same and we all know thats going to drive up costs for everyone.

I do not think that they should be able to use trademark keywords in the ad without permission. We get permission to use the word mac from apple and I completeley understand that, but without having that written consent it opens the door for anyone to use tradmarks as they see fit. Sure its resellers today, but who is to say that tomorrow it gets looser and competitiors can do it? Or what about all of these bogus review web sites that promote all kinds of products that are actualy competitors in disguise,always making their product to be the best out of the group.

Those are the kinds of things that Google needs to fix, not trademarks, but you know why all of that is ignored and this is being loosened up?

Money, plain and simple, if you cut shady advertising pratices you lose money. There is millions of dollars a year in revenue out the door. Loosen up trademark, its more revenue for Google.

Searg




msg:3916915
 4:23 am on May 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think the achilles' heel of this suit is the filing of a suit at the behalf of ALL trademark owners in the state. It would stand a much better chance of success on a specific group that has been harmed by the use of an owned trademark. I feel the court would shy away of making a decision on this against Google. Such a ruling could negatively affect millions of businesses and create havoc in the 'interpretation' of the law.

JMatic




msg:3916920
 4:50 am on May 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Allowing placing ads for one brand on another brand's terms supports a free and fair market, helps competition and promotes consumer choice. It means that companies need to continue to demonstrate to their customers that they are the right choice - because the customers regularly get to see what the competitor is offering. If a company worries so much about their customers leaving for the competition, perhaps it is because the company knows they aren't actually the best choice.

Playing devil's advocate for a minute here, I'm not sure how an advertiser bidding on a trademark or using a trademark in one's copy is "free and fair market". This current change is the equivalent of Circuit City running a Best Buy commercial and then sticking their phone number at the bottom of the screen.

JS_Harris




msg:3917490
 1:36 am on May 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think Searg is right,

Google can't be expected to appoint a representative for every company to make sure they're all happy in how they are being represented in advertising, they'll have to monitor their own interests. A class action case doesn't provide for treating hundreds of thousands of companies differently (some companies don't mind comparison between brands, any press is good press to them).

Global Options:
 top home search open messages active posts  
 

Home / Forums Index / Google / Google AdWords
rss feed

All trademarks and copyrights held by respective owners. Member comments are owned by the poster.
Terms of Service ¦ Privacy Policy ¦ Report Problem ¦ About
© Webmaster World 1996-2014 all rights reserved