Storus Corp just successfully sued another advertiser for use of a trademarked term in the ad copy. This is the first time that I have seen a company sue another advertiser directly without relying on Google as the intermediary for filing trademark exceptions. As PPC advertisers, this affects us dramatically. There are ads running on Google right now using the exact trademarked term. In fact, a substantial number of ads use various trademarked terms. From the people I talk to, the vast majority of them rely on Google to tell them which words they should not use. This case could set a dangerous precedent of advertiser suing advertiser and ignoring Google’s trademark complaint process. In reviewing the exhibits of the case, it appears that none of the ad copy actually contained the trademarked term. One ad was utilizing dynamic insertion and they had the trademarked term in their keywords. This combination of events is what triggered the trademarked term to appear in their ad. The … [Read more...] about Will You Be Sued Over Your Ad Copy Usage?
Google, which recently liberalized the use of trademark terms as a trigger for showing ads, has again opened up its ad policies to allow trademark terms to be used within ad copy, in certain circumstances, within the United States. Currently, registered trademark holders can request that Google prevent their trademarks from being used in ad copy. Trademarks can still be used by anyone to trigger ads, however. Beginning June 15th, this will change — as long as the advertiser is a reseller of a product or is providing information about it. How It Works Let’s use Apple as an example. Let’s assume that Apple asked Google to prevent the trademark “iPhone” from being used in ad copy under the current policy (this doesn’t appear to be the case, by the way). Let’s also assume there’s someone who sells iPhone cases. Currently, they could have an ad show up for “iphone,” but it couldn’t use the word. It might look like this: Need … [Read more...] about Google To Allow Trademarks To Be Used In AdWords Copy In US
European luxury goods maker LVMH (Luis Vuitton) sued Google in France over its AdWords policy allowing third parties, including LVMH competitors, to bid on its trademarked terms as keywords. The case originally arose when marketers bid on “Louis Vuitton” and turned out to be selling counterfeit Louis Vuitton items. The company won in France’s highest court, even as Google was liberalizing its AdWords policy in Europe to conform to the more permissive US policy that routinely allows such third party trademark-keyword bidding. (Trademarks cannot appear in competitors’ ad copy however.) Google appealed to the pan-EU European Court of Justice. Update: see postscript 2 below for qualifiers. An affirmation of the French court’s ruling would have meant potentially big changes for Google (and SEM more generally) and the reinstatement of separate AdWords policies and systems for the US and Europe. Before the court were the following questions: Whether bidding by … [Read more...] about Google Wins Legal Battle Over AdWords Trademark Issue In Europe
Video search marketing has exploded in the past few years. The problem is that most marketers today, especially those in small-to-medium businesses, have no idea what the legal issues with online video are. As a video search marketing professional and legal analyst of new media, I’ve put together this introductory guide for marketers on understanding the most important legal issues with video in search marketing, the serious consequences of not following the law; and tips for how to protect your own video assets and your business. Biggest Legal Issues Today With Online Video I recently covered some of these issues with attorney Daliah Saper, of SaperLaw.com in the video below, and I’ve highlighted some of the key points in our discussion below.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOcQlSxzg3Q Copyright infringement – the unauthorized use of a video, or any content featured in a video, under copyright by someone else. This includes the right to reproduce or perform the … [Read more...] about 5 Legal Tips For Video Search Marketing
Google is playing a sophisticated form of “head games” with antitrust regulators. A second legal report-cum-brief (embedded below) has appeared. It argues that antitrust challenges against Google are likely to fail because Google’s critics’ arguments lack legal merit and/or make little sense from a policy perspective. The report was written by lawyers from the Ammori Group, “a law firm and Internet-law consulting practice whose clients include Google Inc.” A Shrewd “PR Campaign” by Google Last week a report by UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh literally made the case that the US First Amendment precludes any claim against Google under antitrust law. That document was structured and read like a formal brief submitted to a court. However the court in this instance is the “court of public opinion” where the “public” consists of policy makers, regulators and legislators. Google is engaged in what appears to be a very … [Read more...] about Second Google-Sponsored Legal Report Argues Government Would Lose Antitrust Case