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

Valley View Self Storage
Valley View Self Storage
a week ago
We highly recommend Rescuecom Corporation. We needed immediate help with our office computer and ge
...We highly recommend Rescuecom Corporation. We needed immediate help with our office computer and getting us back up and running they were very through and great to work with. less
Tod Baseden
Tod Baseden
2 weeks ago
Awesome tech support went above and beyond. I highly recommend going with Resuecom. Roy killed it!
...Awesome tech support went above and beyond. I highly recommend going with Resuecom. Roy killed it! less
Nicole Gray
Nicole Gray
a month ago
I am so thankful for Rescuecom for saving my computer and my sanity. I spent a week trying to remove
...I am so thankful for Rescuecom for saving my computer and my sanity. I spent a week trying to remove viruses from my computer with a program I bought online that promised 24/7 premium customer service and that was a lie. This company is the real deal. I received immediate help, within a minute of me signing up and David was very kind and knowledgeable and once my computer finished its scan 7 hrs later I immediately received another call from Roy to complete the next step. All I had to do was give him access to my computer and he did the rest of the work while I did other things. He called me as soon as he was done and then went over everything with me and helped me with issues I was having with my gmail account. Exemplary customer service and highly skilled technicians and peace of mind for me, I am extremely grateful and I am now a customer for life! less
robert hand
robert hand
2 months ago
I am thoroughly impressed with this company. The attention to detail, a high level of professionalis
...I am thoroughly impressed with this company. The attention to detail, a high level of professionalism, and sticking with some rather pesky problems until both the technician and I were satisfied with the results. Bravo! less
View all Google reviews

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