Why You Don’t See “World Cup” Ads On Google

world-cup-soccer-600 [caption id="attachment_193527" align="aligncenter" width="600"] A Google Trends chart shows the huge spikes in search volume for "World Cup" in the years the tournament is held.[/caption] Google is on the cusp of a search volume siege from soccer (aka football) fans as the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ nears. A look at Google Trends data shows we're on the upswing what Google can expect when the tournament starts on June 12, based on the volumes the last two times the World Cup was held, in 2006 and 2010. What may surprise you is the search results from all this "World Cup" interest will be l [...]

Despite Google’s Efforts, Counterfeiters Are Commonplace On AdWords

shutterstock_132430334-prom-dress-fraud Should a company that includes the phrase "don't be evil" in their code of conduct be expected to block counterfeiters from buying ads on their search engine result pages? Is it "evil" to sell AdWords to websites that are filled with copyright infringing photos? These questions are unfortunately relevant -- for certain product categories, Google's search engine results pages (SERPs) are filled with links to counterfeiters utilizing copyright-infringing photos. Take the product category of [Dresses > Formal Gowns]. A significant percentage of sponsored ads on the SERPs promote the s [...]

Interflora Wins Five-Year Battle Over Google AdWords Trademark Infringement

interflora-logo The High Court of England and Wales ended a five year legal battle between Marks & Spencer and Interflora yesterday.  The court ruled in favor of flower delivery network Interflora, concluding that retailer Marks & Spencer breached trademark infringement laws by bidding on the keyword "Interflora" in its Google AdWords campaigns. In the European Union, Google allows bidding on trademarked keywords except when the ads are deemed to be misleading and "confusing as to the origin of the advertised goods and service." Yesterday's ruling finds Spencer & Marks in breach of that exc [...]

Google Gets Trademark Reprieve In Sweden Over Definition Of ‘Ungoogleable’

google-g-logo "Ungoogleable" won't become an official word in Sweden ... at least, not this year. As Sveriges Radio reports (found via The Verge), the Language Council of Sweden won't be adding ogooglebar, which translates to "ungoogleable," to its official list of new words for 2012. The Council's planned definition for the word, based on common use there, was something "that can not be found on the Web using a search engine." But Google asked for an edit; it wanted the word to only refer to something that can't be found using Google. Rather than change its definition, the Council decided to drop [...]

Google Streamlines AdWords Rules On Using Trademark Keywords

Google has announced an update to its AdWords trademark policy that streamlines the rules on using third-party trademark keywords in campaigns. With the update, Google now has a consistent global policy that allows advertisers to bid on competitor third-party trademark keywords. The update states: "Starting on 23 April 2013, keywords that were restricted as a result of a trademark investigation will no longer be restricted in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil. While we will not prevent the use of trademarks as keywords in the affected regions, [...]

Wisconsin State Court OKs Bidding On Trademarks In Paid Search

[caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="240"] Image courtesy Shutterstock.com.[/caption] A Wisconsin appeals court this week affirmed a circuit court's ruling that it's OK to use trademarks as keywords to trigger the display of paid search ads. The court's conclusions are in line with search engines' policies with regard to trademark bidding and with a Federal case decided last year in California. The Wisconsin case, which involved two personal injury law firms, centered around what it means to "use" a name for advertising purposes. In the 2009 lawsuit, the owners of [...]

Google Transparency Report Now Showing False Takedown Requests

dmca-google TorrentFreak reports that Google updated their transparency report to now show the number and specific details on the false takedown requests attempted. You can see this level of detail by going to a specific takedown request. For example, looking at takedown request ID 266534 shows that of the 886 URLs reported for DMCA violations, 3% of them, or 24 URLs, Google decided not to take down. It is listed in the "no action taken" section. If you scroll down a bit, you can sort by that column and then click on the details to see specifically which URLs no action was taken against. Here [...]

Google And Rosetta Stone Agree To Settle Suit Over Trademarked Keywords

LOGO_RosettaStone One of Google's most well-funded and tenacious opponents in the legal arena, Rosetta Stone, has agreed to settle its trademark suit against the search giant. The language learning software company had contended that the use of its trademarks as “keyword triggers” infringed trademark law and confused consumers. Terms of the settlement agreement weren't disclosed. The three-year-old case was one of the highest-profile legal battles over a practice that has raised the ire of many trademark holders. In the U.S., Google allows AdWords advertisers to bid on trademarked keywords, so [...]

The Complete Guide To Bidding On Competitor Brand Names & Trademarked Terms


It’s been long known in the industry that brand term keywords garner a much higher click-through-rate. As a result, marketers often start by bidding on their own brand terms.

Question Of Whether It’s Legal To Use Trademarks As Keywords Revived On Appeal in Rosetta Stone/Google Case

Image courtesy Shutterstock.com The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today revived part of Rosetta Stone's trademark lawsuit against Google, meaning the search giant's permitting the use of trademarked terms in AdWords is still legally questionable in the United States. It's the first time an appellate court has ruled in a case of this kind. Previously, a federal court in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a summary judgment in the case in 2010, essentially saying that the language software maker didn't have a valid trademark infringement claim against Google. Rosetta Stone appealed. The company h [...]

Domain Seizures, De-Indexing And Censorship: Nevada Judge Dramatically Exceeds Limits Of His Authority

Image courtesy Shutterstock.com There's a multi-pronged assault on the internet going on now. It comes from over-zealous legislators, the US executive branch and individual judges. There's an effort on multiple fronts to grant over-broad powers to copyright owners to instigate domain seizures, cut-off funds and de-index "rogue" websites if found guilty of "infringement," where that concept is very expansively defined with potentially disastrous consequences for free speech and legitimate internet operations. As you've no doubt read there are two pieces of anti-piracy legislation before the US Congress: SOPA and the P [...]

In Interflora Case, EU OKs Bidding On Trademarks With Some Restrictions

Image courtesy Shutterstock.com The European Union's Court of Justice has ruled in the long-running Interflora case against Marks & Spencer, which involves bidding on trademarked terms, and the decision is no clear victory for either party. Instead, it OKs trademark bidding so long as the resulting ad offers an alternative to the mark holder's service and doesn't cause dilution, tarnishment or adversely affect the functions of the trademark. The case involved a situation in which retailer Marks & Spencer bid on the florist network's trademarked keywords and phrases, including variants, in Google AdWords in the [...]

Australian Watchdog Loses Case Against Google Over Deceptive Ads

ACCC loses misleading ads case against Google via the Sydney Morning Herald reports the ACCC, Australian Competition and Consumers Commission, has lost their has in an Australian Federal court against Google. The watchdog group sued Google over deceptive ads back in 2007. The federal judge, Justice John Nicholas dismissed the case saying the Google was not liable for advertisers using competitors' names and trademarks in their ads. You can read the full court document over here. A Google spokeswoman said, "Our guiding principle has always been that advertising should benefit both [...]

Google Settles & Wins Lawsuit Against ‘Google Cash’ Scammers

google-legal-cash-featured Google has won a $1.6 million settlement against five defendants that it sued in December 2009 over the use of Google's name in what the company called "a widespread Internet advertising scam." Today's decision involves five of the 50 defendants that Google originally sued: Bloosky, Just Think Media, Crush, Hyper Interactive, Search 4 Profit, and Viable. Google had previously settled with another defendant, Pacific WebWorks, last June. The companies created a variety of online marketing schemes that used Google's name, such as "Google Cash," "Google Profits" and "Google Money Kit." In i [...]

European Advocate General Finds Against Trademark Bidding in Interflora Case

[caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="270" caption="Image courtesy Shutterstock.com"][/caption] The European Advocate General is recommending that the Court of Justice of the European Union rule against retailer Marks & Spencer for bidding on the trademarked terms of Interflora, the flower delivery network company. If the Court of Justice acts on the findings, it could effectively spell the end of bidding on competitors' trademarks in the European Union. Unlike other cases, like Luis Vuitton v Google, this case pitted the trademark owner, Interflora, directly again [...]

SEO Held Liable, Fined In Counterfeiting Case

[caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image courtesy Shutterstock.com"][/caption] A website builder and SEO firm has been held liable in federal court in a case in which it was accused of enabling the sale of counterfeit goods. Bright Builders faces a $770,000 fine for damages in the judgment, handed down in U.S. District Court in South Carolina last week, while its client was only fined $28,000. The lawsuit was filed by the Roger Cleveland Golf Company, which makes golf clubs and related products, accusing Christopher Prince, the owner of the copycatclub [...]

Federal Appeals Court Allows Keyword Bidding On Competitor’s Names

paidContent reports a California federal court ruled that it is allowed to bid on a competitor's name for search ads. The ruling was done in an appeals court in the case between Network Automation and Advanced Systems Concepts. Both companies sell scheduling and management software and Network Automation purchased the keyword "ActiveBatch," a trademarked product of Advanced Systems Concepts on the Google and Bing search ad networks. Advanced Systems Concepts sued Network Automation and won in court, but that was overturned in appeals court. The reason the appeals court overturned the o [...]

Court Reversal Brings Surprising Loss For Google In AdWords Trademark Case

[caption id="attachment_65488" align="alignright" width="240" caption="Image courtesy Shutterstock.com"][/caption] A Federal judge in California has denied Google's motion to dismiss a "false association" claim in Daniel Jurin's case against it, surprisingly reversing his own previous rulings. Intellectual property attorney Eric Goldman reported the development in his Technology and Marketing Law Blog. Jurin has been waging a legal battle against Google for years, alleging that the search engine's AdWords program infringes on his "Styrotrim" building materials trademark. Federal Distr [...]

Bing & Yahoo Align With Google’s Trademark Rules For Search Ads

Bring on the trademarked keywords in the U.S. and Canada, says Microsoft AdCenter. A policy change, which takes effect March 3, means ads appearing on Bing and Yahoo will soon able to be triggered by trademarked keywords, though only authorized users can include trademarks in the text of their ads. The shift brings Microsoft AdCenter in line with Google's policies on such matters. "We want to make it easier for you to manage your search advertising campaigns," said an e-mail sent by Microsoft to advertisers. "By aligning the adCenter trademark policy with the current industry standard, we h [...]

Rosetta Stone AdWords Info Revealed In Google Brief

Interesting tidbits have emerged from Google's release of an unredacted appellate brief from its trademark battle with advertiser Rosetta Stone. While none of the information is earth-shattering, it’s interesting to note that Rosetta Stone earns a better return-on-investment from advertising with Google AdWords than any of its other advertising methods. Between July 2007 and March 2010, for example, Rosetta Stone "made more than $27 million from orders placed by customers who used Google paid and organic referrals," the court papers reveal. It also received 330,796 orders from paid searc [...]

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