Turns Out, No, You Can't Sue Google For Putting Ads You Don't Like Near Your Listing

from the in-case-you-were-wondering dept

Last week we had the story of a Dutch dating site that was suing Google because they didn’t like the ads it showed when people searched on their name. The company runs a “farm dating” site, and some of the ads were for “sex sites.” The dating site worried it hurt their reputation. If allowed, it seemed like this would open up a huge host of problems as plenty of companies would try to sue Google over the ads it showed near their listings. It seems that a judge agreed, noting that the words “farm” and “date” were way too generic for the site to have any control over them. At least that gets this case out of court, but it really punts on the bigger issue. If the site did have a less generic name, would they have the right to control what kind of ads show up near their listing in the search engine? That would still create a ton of problems, giving an opening to misuse trademarks for anti-competitive purposes, rather than for consumer protection.

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Comments on “Turns Out, No, You Can't Sue Google For Putting Ads You Don't Like Near Your Listing”

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jeff says:

Re: Begging of the End

i think google is very prepared to fight a battle of ethics with any other search engine that’s around or may ever come about. i don’t want an ethical search engine, and i doubt the vast majority of people who use the internet would want one either. we want relevance, we want our keywords to bring back appropriate results, whether it’s knitting or dr. mengele.

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