Google AdWords in trouble again

Following a first case, Louis Vuitton is suing Google France for trademark infringement. And according to the AP, it's only the beginning:

An official at France's Software Protection Agency, which gathers evidence for court hearings on piracy and trademark infringement, said several major companies are preparing cases against Google. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

IANAL, but since trademark infringement is way more complex than stepping on one's exact trademark, Google may not get out of trouble by just a technical counter-measure such as not selling registered trademarks. Google France said they would appeal the first decision, but appeal in this case doesn't suspend execution of the ruling.

[source: The Trademark Blog]

3 Comments

Hello

I found the below news on The Internet. Is it true what they say ? Actually it was my plan to subscribe for adwords. But now I doubt. Is there anyone who can give me advice on this ?
Thanks !
Peter Hudson.

News, Dec 11 2003.

Two weeks ago, Jan Mackenzie, a search-engine expert and president of The National SE-club approached us with interesting news about Googles’ Adwords Program.
Up to date Mr. Mackenzie was able to collect more than 3000 complaints from Google advertisers which, according to the expert will soon result in a 30-million-claim against Google.
The Club’s president is receiving an average of over 30 complaints/day, most of them with detailed information about how much the advertisers’ damage is and the period it occurred. The expert told us to be in in the final stage of the court case-preparations and added :

“ Our statistics show that the average damage is approximately $ 5000 per advertiser. Before we start the collective court case I’ll collect 3000 more complaints, which enables us to pay our lawyers. The ultimate claim will be approximately thirty million dollar. Every complaint we receive must include as many details as possible and fortunately most of them are very complete. Our lawyers expect they’ll be able to prove their case.
Finally Googles’ Adwords customers discovered the reason why so many keywords don’t work in Adwords : Google has disabled many keywords that are no Trademark at all. Examples are : home depot, beer and casino. Generic Terms that can be found in dictionaries can never be trademarked. Nobody can protect words like house, casino, church, beer, water, milk, hardware, home depot, furniture. But Google already disabled many of those keywords in their advertising program. Nobody understands why Google immediately disables a keyword after a complaint from a company claiming that the keyword is their trademark. Even without proof that it is a protected Trademark. That is an enormous disadvantage for Adwords customers. I think that Googles' customers are entitled to know exactly what is going on with trademarks. But Google doesn't react at all when receiving complaints from Adwords Customers related to Googles' Trademark Protection Policy. And Google refuses to provide her Adwords customers with the list of protected Trademarks. My conclusion is : think twice before you start with Adwords, its very limited. Before starting with Adwords, investigate very well if your desired keywords are allowed and even then things can still go wrong because Google keeps on disabling keywords on a daily base thus making their own advertising program a poor one.”

Our Newsroom asked Google 3 times for a reaction and heard nothing from the Search Engine.
So at least Mackenzies' complaint about a silent Google seems to be justified.
Is the Giant afraid of dwarfs ?

Peter Parmeson.

I am personally consulting with an legal firm in reguards to Google and their "Ad Words."

hi

after reading your reports i would like to comment on another aspect of Adwords. has anyone else noticed that they freeze your ad running without warning? i queried why, and was told that they just check things out! bit no prior waring was given, and at a time like now, (january, which is a bust 'sale' period for online retailers such as myself), is totally frustrating. and then something strange seemed to happen....i checked my adwords account just before i got a mail from adwords telling me my ad was being shown again. i saw in my clicks column, that i had no clicks yesterday, which is to be expected if ad not being shown. 5 hrs after the email from adwords, i checked again and saw that i had 27 clicks yesterday! the price was a few cents less then the daily budget....how could this happen?! i was astonished and began feeling that i am being conned here! i cant prove anything, but i get the feeling that somehow i am simply being stung! i have closed the adwords account, i have spent 130 euros over the last 6 weeks, which is low budget to many, but as a tiny business, its a lot of cash...and not one sale from adwords! all the sales come from other advertising sources. so my feelings are that i cant prove anything but wonder if it is possible to charged regardless....how do i know i got any clicks through adwords? i always check with my customers to see where they found me, nobody said adwords........interesting

steve

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