Feeds

Google comes up trumps in AdWords dispute

'Internal use' not trademark violation

Top three mobile application threats

A New York district court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Rescuecom, a computer repair firm, that accused Google of trademark infringement by selling its brand as a search term.

Google's keyword advertising system is called AdWords. If a company pays for a keyword it means its text advert will be displayed alongside search results when that word is searched for in Google.

Mordue's decision means the case will not be heard, but other courts have allowed similar cases to go further. Insurance company Geico took a case against Google on similar grounds. That case was heard in the Eastern District Court of Virginia and was mostly a victory for Google.

The judge ruled that Google's sale of trademarked words to third parties was not an infringement, but that it would be an infringement to include that trademark in the text ad itself, since that caused a "likelihood of confusion".

That case was settled out of court and neither party has ever revealed the terms of the settlement. Another case, involving American Blind and Wallpaper Factory, is pending.

Judge Norman Mordue of the northern district court of New York ruled in the Rescuecom case that Google's "internal use" did not violate any trademark rights because it was not claimed that it put the trademarked terms on "any goods, containers, displays or advertisements, or that its internal use is visible to the public".

David Milman, CEO of Rescuecom, called the decision a "dangerous precedent".

French courts have taken a firmer view and have ordered Google not to allow a search using one company's trademarks to turn up information about another company's products or services.

See: The ruling (16 page/1.7MB PDF)

Copyright © 2006, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.