Google in hot water over AdWords

Google looks set for a court battle after a US judge refused to dismiss the latest lawsuit against the search giant's AdWords system. District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled that the public has an interest in whether AdWords represents an abuse of US trademark law.

US retailer American Blinds and Wallpaper took Google to court after its rivals were advertised alongside search results for its own business. Under the pay-per-click AdWords system, related adverts appear on a page of search results. This means that if a user searches for McDonald's, for example, an advert for Burger King or another rival may appear next to the results.

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News source: vnunet

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I agree with all of you :D

But seriously though, the judge who refused to throw this out shouldn't be residing over this case if he can't just use some common sense.

I agree with all three of you. Their complaint makes no sense, go in the phone book and look under Auto Repair or something, I'm sure you'll see plenty of ads next to each other, all in order since that is what you were searching for. I see no reason why when I search online my results should be different... in fact wouldn't that be an abuse as well? Locking out other competitors?

People aren't searching for blinds, but are searching for "American Blinds and Wallpape". If you want to use the phone book example, it would be like looking up McDonald's in the white pages and finding Burger King below it.

Which is exactly what will happen if you search for McDonald's in the Yellow Pages. If I flip to the section "fast food" right here, there's McDonalds. And here there's Burger King very close to it.

I agree with both of you. This whole law suite is stupid and should be thrown out of court. It's obvious a few people don't understand how the system works, and their claims are unfounded.

I don't think this is google's fault anyway. Adwords is a largely automated process that works off keywords and descriptions on the pages themselves. Surely the fault lies with American Blinds' competitors for using American Blinds' trademarks in their keywords?

Also when you search for American Blinds, it doesn't just search for the whole string, it searches for individual terms too. Ie. it does a search for "American Blinds", "American" and "Blinds". It's no wonder that other Blinds companies are appearing in the list.

How’s that an abuse of trademark law? You are showing competitors.... that’s like saying you can’t put 3 fast food restaurants in a row in a phone book under the yellow pages... you know that when you advertise you can’t control what’s directly next to you...