Is Buying A Google Ad On Your Competitors' Name A Privacy Violation?

from the only-in-the-world-of-lawyers dept

We’ve seen tons of lawsuits from companies upset that their competitors were buying ads on their trademarked brand names. Obviously, these tend to be trademark disputes, and the suing companies rarely prevails, since most courts seem to realize that buying ads on competitor trademark keywords is perfectly legal, so long as the ad isn’t confusing. But, sometimes the arguments get quite bizarre. JJ sent over an article about two personal injury law firms in a legal fight over Google advertising — but the (initial) twist here is that the one firm is claiming that it’s a violation of Wisconsin state privacy laws to buy keywords based on the names of the partners in the firm. It’s difficult to see who’s privacy is being violated here. And, of course, to make the case a bit more exciting, the defendants surprised everyone in court by doing a search on YellowPages.com for their own law firm — and having an ad for the plaintiff show up. So, now the defendants are claiming that the plaintiffs have “unclean hands,” since they appear to be doing the exact same thing they’ve accused the defendants of doing. It sounds like quite a trial…

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Companies: google

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Comments on “Is Buying A Google Ad On Your Competitors' Name A Privacy Violation?”

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17 Comments
ike says:

Interesting Argument

Interesting! Buying ad words for your competitor’s names gives you an indication as to how many people are searching for the name of your competitor. Knowing the relative popularity of your competitors could be useful information. You might also be able to get the IP addresses of the searchers (although maybe not with Google’s service).

Is that worth suing over? Of course not.

Josh says:

I think that it is

I really do feel that if you are using your competition’s name in your ad and that is how people are finding you then maybe it is not the best idea to try and add business by going that route. I think that really isnt going to get you the best ROI or really good name to go with your company. For sure try and think of a different route the next time you decide to promote your business online. http://www.theaterspecialtieslv.com

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