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A US judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Google that charges the web search leader's AdWords program abuses trademarks.
In making his decision to allow the case to move forward, US District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled the public has an interest in whether AdWords, the company's popular pay-per-click advertising system, violates US trademark law.
American Blind & Wallpaper Factory, the top US reseller of window blinds, charged in its lawsuit that Google abuses trademarks by allowing rivals of a company to buy ads that appear when consumers search the web for information on that business.
Google AdWords Trademark Suit Continues [management.silicon.com]
If a company has trademark in x country then nobody can use adwords bidding on the name of company in that country x , untill and unless it has been allowed by the company itself
The rule apply to any country , company
[edited by: benevolent001 at 9:16 am (utc) on April 23, 2007]
Looks like a new variant on cyber squatting. Trade mark a name containing a generic industry term and stop the rest of the industry bidding on searches.
So what if i use dynamic keyword insertion in ad text i am still able to use keyword i want to , this is what hurting many trademark owners
This might be good read [adwords.blogspot.com] for every one
A search for 'keyword.com', where 'keyword' is a generic domain name, shows a full slate of advertisers. Of course it's not illegal to do that if the domain owner can't even trademark their domain name, but I can see how they'd be upset. Not sure if I care that they're upset yet.
Until it can be determined with very high accuracy that the intent of a searcher was to only find information on the trademark holder and nothing else when they type in a trademark this argument holds little water with me.
I can't even begin to count the times I have searched on a product or company name with the sole purpose of finding alternatives to their products so I can compare and I'm sure not the only one doing this.
They are hiding valuable ad from thier viewers. It is also damaging small manufacturers who reply on making compatible products, for example: HP Compatible ink cartriges. Imagine if PC-compatible computers could not have advertised that fact, 25 years ago?
The Search Engines with these policies are by proxy supportng the ANTI-COMPETITIVE nature of multi-national Companies with brand name monopolies.
No, it's more like "Pizza Hut" can't register a listing in the white pages under "Domino's" with Pizza Hut's phone number. This has nothing to do with searches for generic terms like "pizza" and restaurants" - the terms that Pizza Hut & Domino's would be listed under in the yellow pages. This has to do with competitors benefitting off the money that another company has invested in a brand.
Even the government sees the value in "brand name monopolies." They call them "trademarks" and you can register them and protect them with the government. If you have a good brand that you've spent years (or decades) building, you'd be stupid not to fight to protect the image of the brand.
It's a matter of time before laws are passed that allow companies the same protection of their brand online that they have offline.
And of course most people here have run into trademark violations on terms that are both manufacturer trademarked and purely generic. Again, the entire area is a legal swamp, probably one that can only be remedied by congressional action.
Is a searcher looking exclusively for information about the trademark holder when searching on the trademark?
Is a searcher looking for alternatives to the trademark holder when searching?
Is a searcher actively looking to buy the type of product sold by the trademark holder and merely starts their search with the company they are most familiar with?
It's all of the above and more.
It's called a search engine for a reason.
Does anyone have any statistical "before and after" eveidence showing that after successfully getting a competitor to stop bidding on your trademark that sales went up or down?
There could also be an argument that choice and competition could actually help performance on your trademark term because your product, brand and reputaion reaffirm to consumers that your product offering is the best choice.
>>No, it's more like "Pizza Hut" can't register a listing in the white pages under "Domino's" with Pizza Hut's phone number. This has nothing to do with searches for generic terms like "pizza" and restaurants" - the terms that Pizza Hut & Domino's would be listed under in the yellow pages. This has to do with competitors benefitting off the money that another company has invested in a brand.
to me, it is neither the yellow or white pages. but if I could ask the phone book to show me things it has listed anywhere in its database that are relevant to the phrase "pizza hut"... i would expect pizza hut itself to be listed first (which it is at G), then i'd expect other closely relevant terms to follow.
to declare the present situation as harmful to trademarks is to also simultaneously declare the consumer has no right to search a database by relevancy algorithms (when they include any tm terms). a decision such as that would have far reaching implications that go way beyond G's serps.
what should G return for these searches:
pizza hut coupon
pizza hut versus domino's
ingredients used by pizza hut
city health inspection results for pizza hut
pizza hut alternatives
sell my pizza hut franchise
pizza hut lawsuits
if pizza hut (or american blinds) wants some protection when people type in pizzahut.com, they already have it (see serps).
the impact on the consumer, of fair use, is not negligible or irrelevant.
meanwhile, adware and spyware can specifically target visitors on the pizzahut.com website, and the courts and congress do nothing...
if you want an analogy, think of the physical world... if you're standing inside a pizza hut restaurant, adware players (like zango) can put a billboard for dominos right in front of the menu the customer is reading - and congress sits idly by... but the courts are concerned with people who are looking up information about specific pizza restaurants from databases they can access from their homes... our priorities are upside down.
concerning american blinds, their web address is decoratetoday.com. search g for "decorate today"... that term is something a consumer might type in to search for something completely unrelated to that domain name... yet G shows only ppc for the AB folks... seems they already have stifled G and have gotten what they want... push it farther and the level of impact to the consumer will be too much.
While bidding on an competitor's product is just competition.
We are a mailing order company.
And many times we get calls from some customers to track an order,
when told that there is no order in the sys, the customer would quote something
"like i don't know typed in you name and clicked on the first result"
I would call that a definite lose of business.
Plus an added overhead to clear up the customer, and believe me when you deal with the older crowd it can take some time to clear it up .