BusinessWeek Reports on RESCUECOM Lawsuit Against Google

RESCUECOM Challenges Controversial Google Advertising Policy

BusinessWeek
By Michael Orey
Internet Mat 11,2009:


Google's Rival Keyword Sales Go Wide

Google is expanding sales of company names as keywords for competitors despite a lawsuit by Rescuecom

Google (GOOG) is going global with an advertising strategy that has kicked up controversy in the U.S. and Europe. As part of its efforts to generate revenue from online ads, Google lets marketers in a handful of countries pay to surface their ads when a would-be customer searches for a rival's brand name.

Starting June 4, marketers in about 200 countries will be allowed to purchase rival trademarks as keywords to trigger display of "sponsored search" ads on Google. Honda, for instance, could bid to have one of its ads displayed when a consumer searches the term "Toyota." In recent years some companies have sued Google or the competing company, saying the practice is a form of trademark infringement.

The decision to implement the strategy more widely suggests that Google is confident it is operating on sound legal footing. "Following a global legal review, we have made the changes in countries whose legal and business practices are consistent with making the change," Google spokesman Ben Novick explained in an e-mail. Notably excepted from the long list of countries are member of the European Union, though a forthcoming court ruling could change that.

European Court of Justice will rule

Efforts to force Google to curtail the practice have met with mixed results. In April a U.S. appeals court said a patent-infringement claim by computer repair company Rescuecom could go forward?though to win, Rescuecom will have to prove that consumers will be confused if rivals are drawn to rival Web sites.

Europe's highest court, the European Court of Justice, has also been asked to rule on the issue after member country courts reached differing results. Google is appealing the loss of an infringement case in France to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton but has won similar cases in Germany. In the EU, "the legal and business practices there are not consistent with making the change," Novick wrote in the e-mail.

Google's policy, implemented in the U.S. and Canada in 2004, bars advertisers from using others' trademarks in the text of the ad itself but does permit it in the unseen keywords used to display the ad in cases where the keyword is used in a search. After adopting the same policy in the United Kingdom and Ireland last year, Google has now decided to extend it virtually worldwide.

Google Reviews

Nikki Edwards
Nikki Edwards
in the last week
This was my first experience with Rescuecom. I got a tech named Roy.He was amazing! He was knowledge
...This was my first experience with Rescuecom. I got a tech named Roy.He was amazing! He was knowledgeable, patient, with excellent customer service skills. While fixing my machine, he built great rapport to avoid dead air. He was so detailed oriented that he even concluded that I wore glasses simply because my fonts were SLIGHTLY larger. He went above and beyond by ensuring that my virus infected machine was cleaned to perfection to include edge, IE, google chrome etc...I will request him every time. You should also! less
David Elderkin
David Elderkin
in the last week
Andrew was very nice, very professional, and funny (!). I enjoyed having him help me. and look forw
...Andrew was very nice, very professional, and funny (!). I enjoyed having him help me. and look forward to speaking with him again (not for a serious problem, i hope) less
Deborah O'Connor-Slater
Deborah O'Connor-Slater
a week ago
Just completed my first service call to Rescuecom Syracuse. It was a rewarding experience. I have a
...Just completed my first service call to Rescuecom Syracuse. It was a rewarding experience. I have a very older machine and was afraid I could not recover lost or corrupt files. The response time from service call to response from technician was very fast (maybe 10 Min)The Technician Anthony was very courteous. He walked me through the process of recovering my "lost" files. Everything was recovered and I am good to go. He took the time to explain what he was doing and in his follow-up he made some very helpful recommendations to maintain my computer. I am very satisfied with the service and recommend it to anyone who is having computer problems. less
Tom Seabrooke
Tom Seabrooke
a week ago
Support was the best, thanks Anthony for your help. You saved the day and I will recommend you guys
...Support was the best, thanks Anthony for your help. You saved the day and I will recommend you guys to all my associates. 5 Stars***** less
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