Google to face AdWords jury trial

On November 9, Google will face trial over its AdWords programme, following allegations by American Blind & Wallpaper Factory that the system represents an abuse of US trademark law. Under the pay-per-click AdWords system, related adverts appear on a page of search results – it is very possible that by searching for a company, the company's competitor may appear as an advert next to the search results. In an April decision denying Google's motion to dismiss the case, the court ruled that the "evidence suggests that Google used [ABWF's] mark with the intent to maximise its own profit [and] ABWF has produced sufficient evidence of likelihood of [consumer] confusion [to allow the case to be decided by a jury]".

Kelley Drye & Warren, the law firm representing ABWF, and its lead attorney David Rammelt, said: "The downside of search optimisation based on use of trademarks is rarely discussed. The reality is that companies large and small are hurt when Google uses a company's trademark, without permission, for the benefit of the company's competitors and Google. This is the first time that a jury will have the chance to hear how Google's business model takes advantage of companies that have built the value of their trademarks through hard work and investment."

News source: vnunet

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