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back to article Google to allow trade marks as keywords across Europe

Google will let companies use competitors' trade marks as keywords to trigger search adverts in all European countries for the first time. The move will test the interpretation of a number of EU and national court rulings on the controversial practice. Google's AdWords system sells the right to have an ad displayed when a …

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Anonymous Coward

Interesting that "Portakabin" is the test case...

Another one of those brand-becomes-generic situations.

The owner of the brand name usually proclaims that they don't want it to be generic, yet they gain massively from exposure and brand recognition as a result. If you wanted one of 'em, what would you google for? "Modular transportable building"? No, nor me.

They can't have it both ways...

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Re: Interesting that "Portakabin" is the test case...

They don't gain massively for long, because as soon as their trademark becomes generic, everybody can call their product "a portakabin". Having a product with a famous name is not much use if every other manufacturer starts using the same name.

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Pint

Googletopia?

How much bigger could Google possibly get?

In the next 5 years maybe they will buy a continent with their money?

I look forward to going on holiday to Google =]

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trade marks as keywords in AUS

Been ilegal for years in AUS, since the early days of the internet.

The AUS precedent was set by an interesting case between Ford and General Motors (Holden), in which one "lost" the case to other.

The actual effect in AUS was not just the "Ford" can't use "Holden" as a keyword, but that "Proton" and "Mahindra" (or name some other imported brand with poor local brand recognition) can't use "Ford" or "Holden" as keywords.

I don't have a strong opinion on consumer rights vs comercial rights, but I thought that the cosy self-serving court judgement was an abuse of process.

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Bad Google, bad

The Portakabin case may be a "brand-becomes-generic" situation, by generally speaking this is a very bad move from Google.

This will affect smaller businesses in particular. There's now nothing to stop competitors outbidding on a trade marked business or product name and injecting their advertising into search results.

Unless you're able to match your competitors financial resources and "buy" the keywords back you're screwed.

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Anonymous Coward

Is this really a change?

Not sure why this is seen as a change since our competitors have been doing it for the 6 years we've been around. We complained but Google said it was "unenforcable". Is this just the easy way out?

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