Office Depot The Latest To Misunderstand Trademark Law
from the let's-try-this-again-for-the-slow-folks dept
Stories about companies getting upset over Google text ads on their name are nothing new. However, this latest case is slightly different in a few important ways. Office Depot is suing Staples for taking out Google text ads on the name of a brand they’re shutting down in the US. This seems like a totally legitimate way to try to get new business. People looking for Viking Office products probably would be interested in Staple’s alternatives. However, Office Depot is upset that the Staple’s ad seems to imply Viking is disappearing completely, which isn’t true outside of the US. That seems like a bit of nitpicking, but which could be solved in the ads were limited to the US. What’s more interesting, though, is that almost all previous lawsuits around this issue involved the complaining company suing Google rather than the advertiser in question. In this case, the suit is against Staples — which is at least a small step in the right direction (whether or not the case has merit). Of course, Office Depot and Staples just settled a different lawsuit a few days ago — so maybe both teams of lawyers just needed something new to fight over. Meanwhile, on the subject of trademark confusion in this space, has anyone figured out a way to tell Office Depot and Office Max apart?