Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Google PPC trademark and the Class Action Lawsuit

Sometimes I write about relevant things, usually a little time after they happen (this tends to be after I've either used it, read about it or listened to a podcast that mentions it), but rarely do I write about somehting and then the following day or so something significant happens... however, following on from my posting on Monday...

...there is an article in today's Register by online legal firm out-law.com. This gives details about a sales software company called Firepond who have sued Google in a Texan court, because the Google AdWords system apparently infringes their trade marks.
"Google has improperly infringed [Firepond's] 'Firepond' Marks by selling, for example, [its] trademark 'Firepond' to [its] competitors as a keyword so that when an Internet User searches for 'Firepond' on...Google's Internet search engine, the competitor's advertisement hyperlink will appear at the very top and/or on the right side of the first page of search results…thereby confusing Internet Users and diverting a percentage of such Users from [Firepond] and enjoying and benefitting from all the goodwill and 'buyer's momentum' associated with [its] valuable trademark,"

However, by hopefully teaming up with other companies who are also upset by this activity, Firepond hopes to create a Class Action which will prevent Google from profiting from competitive trademark keyword buying.

This will certainly be an interesting case to watch, especially I more companies join in.
Further information is available at outlaw.com
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