Competitors Taking Action Against Competitors For Search Ad Trademark Infringement
Search ads trigger trademark lawsuit from rival from News.com reports on another search ad trademark lawsuit. This one differs in that the plaintiff is not suing a search engine, but rather suing his competitor.
NameSafe sued LifeLock for allegedly allowing one of their resellers to show search ads with NameSafe’s trademarks within the ad copy. The ads were triggered on a search for [namesafe], and the ads contained “Namesafe” in the title of the ad. Namesafe is not objecting to buying the keyword [namesafe] but rather using the trademark in the ad text.
Most search ad trademark policies do not allow for advertisers to place trademarked terms in the ad copy of the ad. In many cases, you can buy the trademarked term and rank for the term in the search ads. However, using the trademarked term, in many cases, is against most search engines trademark policies.
LifeLock argues that they did not buy or use the NameSafe name in the ad. It was one of their 3,000 resellers that purchased the keyword and placed the trademark in the ad. They communicated to that reseller that is it not allowed and have terminated their relationship with that reseller. But that might not be enough.
NafeSafe took LifeLock to federal court last Wednesday in the middle district of Tennessee.
For more of our coverage on trademark cases in search, see our trademarks category.