Monday, 10 September 2007

US trademark case against Google dropped

A report by Cnet last week says that a long running trademark dispute over Google AdWords has been dropped in the US. The case by American Blind & Wallpaper Factory was first filed in 2003 as the company, who act as a reseller of window blinds, charged Google with trademark abuse due to the AdWords PPC system allowing competitors to buy ads that appear when consumers search the web for information on their business.

Google therefore seems to have successfully defended their practice of allowing advertisers to bid for keyword search words, even for trademarked terms, even though a number of similar cases have been lost in Europe. It would also appear that the American Blind & Wallpaper Factory may have had a weak case due to the use of generic terms within their company name.

Cnet's report says that neither party has accepted liability or wrongdoing, and they will both pay their own legal costs. American Blinds have stipulated that Google was paying nothing and making no change in policy in order for American Blinds to settle the case. According to a quote from Michael Kwun, Google's managing counsel for litigation, he stated that "From the start, we've said that American Blind & Wallpaper Factory's claims were baseless, and that Google's trademark policies are perfectly reasonable and lawful."

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