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Want Competitive Keyword Information? Just Subpoena Google!
Eric Goldman reports that Google has received a subpoena to turn over AdWords keyword purchase data that a company hopes will help it in a trademark case. Google plans to comply unless companies that bought the words “sports court” among others object to it formally.
Conner Sport Court is the company requesting that Google send it records of anyone who purchased “sports court,” along with cost-per-click “calculations,” estimated ad postiions and search volume trends (here, let us help with that last, no subpoena required) for that word and other related ones.
Conner hopes the information will help it win a case against Rhino Sports, which had an injunction against it from running ads against the phrase Sports Court. It did run ads, but said that happened through broad matching.
Google has been sending out emails to advertisers identified as placing bids on the terms in question, either directly or through broad match, informing them that Google will hand over campaign data unless it receives a formal objection.
This is a huge deal. Sport Court will now be obtaining highly competitive data from their competitors.
In fact, I spotted a thread about this but I thought it was a joke. This is no joke.