Indian Company Sues Google For Showing Competitors Ads... Even Though It Places Ads On Competitors Too

from the what's-good-for-us... dept

There have been plenty of misguided lawsuits against Google, when someone gets upset and realizes that competitors are buying AdWords on their name or other trademarks. But, of course, that shouldn't be a trademark violation (unless the resulting ad is confusing). It's just well-placed marketing. Furthermore, even if it is trademark infringement, it shouldn't be Google's liability, but the party who bought and created the ad. However, the lawsuits still keep coming -- with the latest one being in India. But what makes this one special is that the complaining company seems to be buying those types of ads itself. So while it's complaining that competitors' ads show up on searches for its own name, it had no problem buying ads on competitors' names. Why not just try competing by offering a better service, rather than worrying about how competitors advertise?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 7:13pm

    TOS

    When using google to advertise you are legally responsible for all ads you place, and all litigation occuring from said ads. You agree to pay all legal expenses incured by google for all ads placed.

    DONE!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Eric Goldman (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 7:58pm

    Not unusual....

    A number of the trademark plaintiffs in the US have similarly had their hands caught in the cookie jar, i.e., they engaged in the exact same competitive advertising purchases that they were suing over. Eric.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 8:41pm

    I believe Mr. Goldman has fallen prey to assuming facts not in evidence. While the contents of the article, if true, certainly suggest such activity, the article does not definitively so state.

    One thing does seem fairly certain. If the plaintiff is engaging in such conduct its marketing people will not have a very pleasant experience next time they meet with the CEO.

    Merely a personal opinion, while ad words as implemented are likely not a violation of trademark law, and also not likely a violation of unfair competition law (I am assuming, of course, a congruence between the law of India and that of the US, which may be totally off the mark), it is a bit unseemly to engage in this type of activity. If you need to play off your competitors' trademarks to generate recognition for your trademarks and goods/services, it suggests to me that you are not doing a particularly good job promoting your business to the consuming public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 9:17pm

    oh my cuddy is tainted holy cow

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 9:28pm

    Re:

    You mean...the type of activity that companies have been using in advertising since the marketing industry was created?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Luci, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 9:52pm

    Re:

    Incorrect. You seem to have missed one entire para in the linked article:

    'Consim's trademarks also often appear in links from competitors that are served on a Google search, Janakiraman said.'

    So, apparently, the article DOES definitively so state.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 10:52pm

    Re:

    If you need to play off your competitors' trademarks to generate recognition for your trademarks and goods/services, it suggests to me that you are not doing a particularly good job promoting your business to the consuming public.

    Really? Wouldn't the smartest place to market and advertise be where people are looking for products like yours?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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