• http://www.efrontier.com Jonathan Beeston

    Isn’t this just a good way of Google monetising trademark searches more? Brand searches are huge – it must be frustrating for the Googlers to see all that empty inventory.

    So this kills two birds with one stone:

    1, Outsource all those pesky trademark problems to the trademark owners instead and let them do as they please. As well as helping with the lawsuits, you don’t need as many people at Google to do this. I understand that the backlog to process trademark issues is now a few months.

    2, Start making money again. Okay, so a ‘transaction fee’ isn’t as nice as keeping all the revenue, but it’s better than nothing, which is what Google are getting on a lot of trademark searches. A small transaction fee on millions of trademark clicks a day is still a lot of money.

  • AdamM

    Yahoo’s guidelines for trademark are certainly easier to understand and work with as an advertiser.

    To use your example- I should be able to buy the keyword Marriott and display the word Marriott if my landing page has something to do with Marriott. Trademark owners and users should benefit from that simple model.

    One of the trickier things about Trademark law is that, without clear guidance on what is infringement and what is not, Trademark owners are compelled to protect their Trademarks or risk losing them to public domain. We’re all in desperate need of legal clarification.

    Clarity would also limit the practice of trademark owners forcing other advertisers out of the marketplace simply to lower their per click costs.

  • MarkF

    This all just doesn’t make sense from a retailer’s point of view. Google has just disallowed our use of the term ‘Levis’ in our online ads. We are a retailer that has been selling Levis (along with many other clothing brands) for over 40 years, and for the last six years on the internet. We have a contract with Levis to promote and sell their product. We pay Levis for their product with the express purpose of selling it at the retail level. This is all very simple and very common.

    Buying an ad on Google to promote the brand name products we sell is no different from buying an ad in a newspaper. How are we to do business if Google (or the newspaper) prevents us from lawfully advertising our products?

    And why should Google pay a fee to the brand holder? Is that asked of any other advertising media? No. In fact, it’s usually the opposite — the brand owner pays us, in co-op advertising, to promote their product that we sell.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but it all seems a bit of an over reaction by Google. Everyone benefits from legitimate advertising of brand named goods – including the trademark owner. It’s always been done this way.

    We are in no way being deceptive – we are simply promoting a product that we are licensed to sell by the manufacturer.

    Is seems that Google is throwing the baby out with the bathwater!

  • http://www.piedmontdesign.com/blog Greg Stierle

    Another problem would be if I saw this new program and decided to register popular search queries as trademarks. Would Google then have to start paying me royalties? How would we decide?

  • http://www.emersondirect.net emerson

    I couldn’t agree more. In fact I’ll give you a case in point. About 4 years ago we were spending thousands of dollars on media in the form of radio, television and ppc. Because of the exposure we couldn’t bid on our own brand as a keyword because it was so expensive. Although we were ranked organically #1 we still wanted to profit from the ppc. WE did but the cost per aquisition was very high. As well a number of sites used our keyword in their URL even though they had nothing to do with in any form or fashion. WE had to hire a law firm to shut them down but it still did not prevent people going onto Ebay and creating auction sites for our product. If we were to have received a cut from Google for everytime someone clicked on our keyword and it didnt go to our pages, we would have made an additional 7 figures.