Overture, Geico Guarantee Many More PPC Trademark Lawsuits
from the not-a-good-precedent dept
It's been pointed out, repeatedly, that selling text ads based on trademarked keywords is not trademark infringement. There's no confusion over brand, which is what trademark law is designed to prevent. Instead, it's simply companies trying to get listed alongside their competition, which is a standard marketing move (why are no-name brand colas on shelves in supermarkets next to Coke and Pepsi?). However, companies like Geico have been suing Google and Yahoo for selling text ads based on their trademark. While Google's case is ongoing, Yahoo's Overture division decided to settle today. This might mean that they didn't think they would win, but it sets a bad example. While ads are apparently still showing on Overture for Geico competitors, Geico clearly got something out of Overture to allow the practice to go on. What this means, is that every company that has competitors buying ads on trademarked terms will now be calling Overture, asking for their "settlement."