Google Protects Its Trademark Against Aussie Alcohol Search Engine

Guess which one of these company names is Google approved? An alcohol price comparison search engine based in Australia has been forced to change its name after a six-month trademark battle with Google. Originally called "Groggle," the web site is now known as Drinkle. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Groggle owner Cameron Collie received a cease-and-desist letter from Google earlier this year, with just "days left" in the trademark objection filing period. Google was concerned about possible confusion over the similarity between its name and Groggle. "I don't think that t [...]

Google AdWords Trademark Case Goes To U.S. Court of Appeals

paidContent reports Rosetta Stone, which lost their trademark case against Google a year or so ago, is taking the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Rosetta Stone claimed that the ads on Google infringed trademark law and confused consumers. The court ruled in Google's favor but Rosetta Stone decided to appeal. This is significant because a U.S. appellate court has never issued a ruling on trademarked keywords. This time Rosetta Stone is not backing down and they hope to prove that the Virginia federal district court was wrong in their ruling. There is no court date as of yet, but [...]

Google Approves Anti-Google Ad Despite AdWords Trademark Issue

Almost all Google AdWords advertisers know that bidding on some keywords are off limits. One of those keywords is [google] and typically you won't see any ads for a search containing the word [google], unless the ad is from Google. However, recently Google has allowed an anti-Google ad to be shown. CNet reports the consumer watchdog group tried several times to purchase an ad on Google to promote their trusting Google campaign, only to be rejected time and time again. Eventually, the watchdog group published a complaint about the ad disapprovals and Google allowed the ad to go through. [...]

Google To Allow Trademarks To Be Used In AdWords Copy In Canada, the UK and Ireland

Google announced starting on September 14th, UK, Canadian and Ireland advertisers can use trademarked keywords in their ad text. This is a policy that was adopted in the U.S. on May 14, 2009 and is now being adopted in the UK, Canadian and Ireland. In addition, advertisers on September 14th can now select trademarks as keywords to bid on and then use those keywords in their ad text. This is a major change to the UK, Canadian and Ireland policy and Google has created a document explaining the changes. Why? Google said: We believe the right approach is to give users more choices a [...]

Google Claims Victory In French Supreme Court Keyword Trademark Case

Google wrote that they were victorious in a ruling today by the French Supreme Court over trademark infringement charges brought to them by three companies. But not everyone agrees that Google was indeed the winner here. Google wrote: Today, the French Supreme Court was unequivocal in their rulings and anyone who reads them will be left in no doubt that there was no trade mark infringement in these cases. In addition, the Court went beyond the European Court of Justice by excluding any act of unfair competition or misleading advertising by Google. The Court also ruled in Google’s fav [...]

EU Upholds Ruling That Trademarks In Search Ads Do Not Infringe

EU Court Rules on Ad Keywords from the Wall Street Journal reports the the highest court in Europe upheld and confirmed a decision by a previous court that bidding on trademarked keywords in search engines does not infringe on European trademark law. This specific case was between Portakabin, a cabin maker and a competitor, Primakabin. Primakabin was using Portakabin to bid on ads on Google and other search engines. The court ruled that Primakabin was not in violation of European trademark law for bidding on a trademarked name. This is similar to the EU ruling on the Luis Vuitton ke [...]

Google Wins Legal Battle Over AdWords Trademark Issue In Europe

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 [...]

Meet The 25-Year-Old Who Saved “SEO” From Being Trademarked

Back in April 2008, Jason Gambert began his attempt to trademark SEO. But last week, Gambert's claim was formally blocked. That wasn't due to a big company or industry group fighting it. It came down to a few individuals in the SEO industry, with ultimately one woman -- Rhea Drysdale -- who fought to the end using her own money and time to beat it. The challenge began when SEOmoz filed the first opposition to the trademark in 2008. However, the company never pursued this further due to their legal spat with Ripoff Report. Jonathan Hochman of Hochman Consultants's complaint with the USPTO [...]

Goojje, A Google China Knockoff

The Chosun Ilbo reports a new Google China has launched, a knockoff, named It was made in response to Google saying they may have to shut down their search engine a few weeks back. It is a basic search engine, not affiliated with Google in anyway. It does however play on the Google name and Google logo. [...]

Another Person No One’s Heard Of Tries To Trademark SEO

HuoMah Blog discovered that yet another person is trying to claim a trademark on the term SEO, search engine optimization. Clinton Cimring of a company called "Search Engine Partner" filed a trademark application with United States Patent and Trademark Office on January 5, 2009. The filing claims first use SEO as a trademark was on September 23, 1996 and first use in commerce was on September 24, 1999. This is the second time in about two years that someone with no general stature, reputation or well-known and documented history has tried to claim a trademark on SEO. In 2008, Jason Gambert [...]

Yahoo & American Airlines Settle Search Ad Suit

MediaPost reports Yahoo has settled a search ad keyword lawsuit with American Airlines. The suit dates back to October 2008 in a federal court and both were expecting a judgement on the case sometime this year. The two companies reached a settlement prior to judgement, although the terms of the settlement were not disclosed. In August 2007, Google was sued by American Airlines over a similar issue. And in July 2008, Google & American Airlines settled the suit out of court. Some are speculating the Yahoo and American Airlines settlement was due to Yahoo paying luggage fees for Americ [...]

Google Money ‘Scammer’ Says They Will Settle Legal Dispute With Google

Pacific WebWorks says it is settling Google suit from the Associate Press reports that the 'Google Money Kit' type of alleged scammer will settle the dispute with Google. A week ago, we reported Google filed suit against this organization, in order to help prevent these types of scams. Pacific WebWorks, one of the companies in Google's lawsuit, claimed they reached an "agreement in principle" with Google to settle the legal matter. They also said they would "cooperate with Google's request for expedited discovery." [...]

Bing! Sues Microsoft Over Trademark Infringement

Small design firm sues Microsoft over Bing name from Ars Technica reports a St. Louis based design firm named Bing! is suing Microsoft for using their name. Bing! Information Design ( is suing over "trademark infringement, unfair competition, and tortious interference with business expectancy." They filed their case on Wednesday, December 16th in Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis. The Simon Law Firm in St. Louis even released a press release on the suit saying, "For nearly 10 years my client has been using the Bing! mark," explains Anthony Simon. "My client selected thi [...]

SEO Expert Swears In Court That Google Uses Meta Keywords Tag

I was pointed to a filed affidavit (PDF) between Jenzabar & Robert Maginn as the plaintiffs versus Long Bow Group as the defendants. In short, it seems like the plaintiff is suing the defendants over trademark infringement within a site's keyword meta tags. What is interesting is not that there is a lawsuit about this, this is nothing new. It is the fact that the defendant cited a post by Google that Google does not use the meta keywords tag as a ranking factor or any factor at all. Because of that post, amongst other reasons, the defendant filed a motion (PDF) to strike the affidavit [...]

Google Sues To Stop Online Scams Using Its Name

Google is fighting back against the get-rich-quick and work-from-home scams that use its name. The company says it's suing to stop what it calls "a widespread Internet advertising scam" that often goes under names like "Google Cash," "Google Money Kit," "Google Profits," and more. Google has made available the text of its lawsuit (PDF) against a Utah-based company called Pacific WebWorks and dozens of other companies that it only refers to as "Does 1-50" (as in "John Doe"). It's a civil suit that accuses the defendants of a number of offenses, including "trademark infringement, dilution, un [...]

Search Ad Keyword Lawsuit, Now Over Privacy

We have covered many of the search ad keyword lawsuits aimed between competitors or directly at the search engines in the past. Nowadays, it seems like a new suit around this topic is filed weekly. Typically these suits go after trademark violations and the like, but a new suit is focusing on a privacy legality. Suit over search-engine keywords tries new angle from the Associated Press reports Habush Habush & Rottier is suing Cannon & Dunphy for buying their name on Google and Bing. Habush Habush & Rottier is taking the privacy angle, where in Wisconsin there is the "right-to-privacy st [...]

EU Court Says Google Can Sell Trademarked Keywords In AdWords

Google Can Sell Trademarked Keywords, EU Adviser Says from Bloomberg News reports the EU's highest court has ruled Google can sell trademarked keywords in search ads. As we reported back in June 2008, Louis Vuitton sued Google over trademark issues with search ads and Google then appealed to this court. Google has won that appeal and has set the law on this matter across the whole European Union. Advocate General Luis Miguel Poiares Pessoa Maduro said in a non-binding opinion to the European Court of Justice today in Luxembourg: It is important not to allow the legitimate purpose of p [...]

ShoeMoney Vs. Google Employee Case Settled

Jeremy "Shoemoney" Schoemaker has confirmed that the case between his company and Google AdWords employee, Keyen Farrell, has been settled. Jeremy said, "I can say that my lawsuit against the Farrells was settled," in his blog. For more history on this case, see the following stories: Keyen Farrell Countersues Jeremy Schoemaker, Claiming Defamation Why Hasn’t Google Cleared, Fired Or Suspended Accused AdWords Employee? An Update On ShoeMoney Vs. Google Employee Trademark Case Google Employee Alleged To Have Bypassed AdWords Trademark Policy For Own Benefit [...]

Affiliates: Trusted Allies Or Conniving Cannibals?

It is not uncommon for businesses to find that the relationship they have with their affiliates is one of the most difficult to handle. On the one hand, affiliates can be valuable partners that provide leads and sales for your company. But on the other hand, they are independent entities which require compensation for their services and have their hearts equally divided between your best interest and their own. But if you stop and think about it, this is not an unusual situation: your business probably relies on a number of providers and suppliers with whom it has built a relationship of trust [...]

Keyen Farrell Countersues Jeremy Schoemaker, Claiming Defamation

Back in April, Jeremy "Shoemoney" Schoemaker filed suit against Google AdWords employee Keyen Farrell, saying that Farrell had violated his trademark on "Shoemoney" by using it Google ads. Today, Farrell is firing back with a suit saying that Shoemaker has defamed him. From the release put out on behalf of Farrell: If you searched the internet for the name "Keyen Farrell" prior to April 7th , a dozen listings would have appeared and you would have learned about Farrell’s high school track career, a college business and his employment at Google Inc.. However, as of April 8, 2009, th [...]

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Search Engine Land on Twitter @sengineland Like Search Engine Land on Facebook Follow Search Engine Land on Google+ Get the Search Engine Land Feed Connect with Search Engine Land on LinkedIn Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest


Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States


Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech

Free Daily Search News Recap!

SearchCap is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!



Search Engine Land Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors

Get Your Copy
Read The Full SEO Guide