Google's AdWords set to face jury for the first time
Wallpapering over the trademark cracks
Google will face another trade mark law suit over its AdWords system after a judge refused Google's request that the case be thrown out of court. The issue will be tried before a jury for the first time.
Google has already won suits over its ad system, which allows companies to buy the right to display their advert when a certain term is searched for. The new case will be the first to be heard before a jury, according to the lawyers acting against Google.
Trade mark owners have argued that they should be the only firms allowed to advertise when their trade mark is searched for.
American Blind & Wallpaper Factory (ABWF), the US's biggest reseller of window blinds, has sued Google for abuse of trade marks because of rivals' right to buy adverts when web users search for its name. The ad system does not affect the actual search results delivered by Google's search engine.
Google applied for summary judgment in the case, asking the US District Court for the Northern District of California to rule immediately in its favour. That court's judge Jeremy Fogel refused, saying that the issue should go to trial.
"The large number of businesses and users affected by Google's AdWords program indicates that a significant public interest exists in determining whether the AdWords program violates trademark law," said the judge's ruling.
Google has previously won two federal cases on similar grounds against car insurance company Geico and computer repairer Rescue.com, which is appealing against the verdict.
“We are gratified that our client will get its day in court, and that Google will finally face a jury for its trafficking in other companies’ intellectual property," said David Rammelt of Kelley Drye, the law firm which is representing ABWF. "The case also carries implications for other global companies who resent Google's profiting off the sale of their brand names and trademarks."
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What a load of horse turd!
I agree with Ian... It's no different to any other media where an ad appears on the page alongside other things.
The Google ads are a separate part of the page, labeled as an ad, and pretty obviously not related to the actual search results.
I think the biggest hole in this case will be the difference between searching for
American Blind & Wallpaper Factory
"American Blind & Wallpaper Factory"
as an example. Since the intention of Google AdWords is to provide relevant adverts, only for the second search would AWDF's advert be the only one that I would expect to see as the search, in quotes, is for the exact name of the company where as the first one implies that I am searching for factories in America that make blinds and wallpaper. There is a significant difference between the two which I suspect will make up a fair component of the defence put up by Google's lawyers.
Whats the difference
between google and the yellow pages?
If someone opens the Yellow Pages to get the phone number for the American Blind & Wallpaper Factory, they are faced with a couple of pages of ABWF's competitors.
If they want to avoid that, they have to pay to take out a full page ad. Same deal here. If they want the search result to be exclusive, cough up the dosh.