Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
keywords, trademark


Can Companies Use Trademark Lawsuits To Find Out What Keywords Competitors Are Buying?

from the sneaky,-sneaky dept

We've been covering many ridiculous attempts by companies to sue Google because competitors buy keyword ads based on trademarked terms. As we've pointed out, over and over again, this shouldn't be illegal (trademark law doesn't mean a competitor can't use your brand in an ad), and even if the ad does violate trademarks, it shouldn't be Google's issue, but the advertiser's. However, one company is apparently trying to use just such a lawsuit not just to make Google pay up, but to get Google to reveal all sorts of information on who else had bought ads based on its trademark -- which would seem to be pretty valuable information for any company. Google, thankfully, is resisting the request, but the company is still demanding it. As Eric Goldman notes in the link above, if this is allowed, you can expect to see many more of these lawsuits, not to try to squeeze money out of Google, but to find out how much their competitors are spending on keyword ads.

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