Trademark Infringement

Are you currently Search Engine Marketing? …Advertising on Adwords? AndMine purchase plenty of digital advertising for our clients, especially on Adwords.  The constantly growing Google platform is under pressure from new cases testing the use of competitors trademarks, trading names, product names or a website addresses (brandwords). Buying competitors brandwords and re-directing them to another website, should this be allowed? This could be the case of Trademark Infringement.

For example, if a user Google searches ‘Harvey World Travel’, an ad would shows up with the title ‘Harvey World Travel’. But clicking on this ad takes the user to a website for STA Travel! AndMine sees a tougher challenge is around businesses which own brandwords that are also common terms, for example “Real Estate” for realestate.com.au.

AndMine have recently advised a number of clients, on both sides of this argument. We strongly focus on the users perspective; If you’ve searched “Harvey World Travel” wouldn’t you want to be taken to that site? For our clients, we advise to purchase keywords that will have a lower bounce rate and higher engagement; Thus buying competitors brandwords will confuse users and render poorer conversion results. As for common terms like “real estate”, this isn’t best practice either, as the cost of acquisition is typically many times more than less competitive keywords. This is also Trademark Infringement.

Different courts across the globe are ruling for and against these practices.

In Australia, Online Ad spending is worth around $830 million per year. The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) was in a to-and-fro battle with Google over competitor brandwords advertising. The ACCC posted their 2011 appeal recently to the High Court and won last month.

However a recent EU case the courts said “Using rivals’ trademarks in Google Adwords is fair competition unless the products are imitations”. Very interesting.

While the line is being decided worldwide, for now, Australian businesses should not use brandwords of a competitor as part of an AdWords campaign as this may constitute a breach of consumer protection laws. In addition campaigns should be designed to maximise engagement, buying competitors brandwords will dilute conversion.

Businesses should monitor the use of their own brandwords in Googles paid search by competitors. AndMine recommends pointing them to this article and asking them to stop the practice of Trademark Infringement before taking further action. Contact AndMine if you would like us to review a particular scenario for your business. You may also contact the ACCC if a “Sponsored Link” on Google infringes your brandwords which maybe misleading to your potential customers.

 

Michael Simonetti
Posted by:

Post Reads: 5.9K

Share this

Go on, see if you can challenge us on "Adwords, Company Names and Trademark Infringement" - Part of our 162 services at AndMine. We are quick to respond but if you want to go direct, test us during office hours.

Add Your Comment

Trusted by

Aqium Gel
Marshall White
Bigcommerce
Positive Poster
Canberra
Jetstar
Melrose MCT
TSB
Madman Entertainment
Tassal
Telstra
ADP Payroll
CBRE
Shell
The Burger Cheese
Arc One
131 Pizza
Crumpler
One Shift
Switzer
abc
BlackMores
DepSkin.com
Kay Burton
WTFN
Smart Company
Magento
Moov Head Lice
Rock Pool Group
Matchbox
Oracle
GPT Group
Jalna
QV Skincare
Maxine
Brisbane Times
Royal freemasons
Nmiinsurance
Unsw Australia
Hairhouse Warehouse
Melbourne Central
Tony and Guy
Parker Lane
Amino Active
ISO Certified
Palace Cinemas
James Buyer Advocates
University of Melbourne
vissf
Loan Market
Melbourne Heart
Ello
Bulk Nutrients
Fed Square
Ubertas Group
Smh
Macmillan
Ebay
National Museum of Australia
LBG Australia and New Zealand
RMIT University
News
Watches of Switzerland
DeeWhy Market
SunSense Digital Agency
MyAccount
Dinosaur Designs
tribe
OJAY
Mamma Lucia
Novvi
Uber
Toy World
Swin
The Age
Engine Swim
MAP
Atlantic Group
CSquared Executive
Chia
Bondi Sands
Grays Ecommerce
OMS
Natralus Australia
High Street Armadale
Elucent
Scrum
Australian Physiotherapy Association
Rackspace
Max
Forbes
Ego Pharmaceuticals
Engineers Without Borders
Instant RockStar
Fortune Institute
Movember
Tek Ocean
Magento Solution Specialist
Microsoft-certified-azure-fundamentals
Vendor Advocacy Australia
21st Century Education Agency
Liveoneday
Acquia Drupal Certification
Rydges
Dusa
Bank of Cyprus
Sports Power
iPrimus
Etihad Stadium
Fairfax Media
Schiavello
Castran Gilbert
Grow Rich
Van Egmond Group
POSTER Magazine
Victorian Government
AC/DC
Arthur Galan
TPP
White Suede
Drupal
Coles
Bintani
MSAC
Anthill
CAN
Dial Before You Dig
Viktoria + Woods
Google
Digital Agency Panitsync
Hanover
Grow Your Business
Paypal
Fresh Cheese Company
National Relay Services
Appstore
Metricon
Green St Juice
GooglePlay
Melrose Health
Iso 9001 2015
Eway
Australia Goverment
Focus On Furniture

Testimonials

Michael has a wealth of knowledge in business development and management, especially online businesses. His passion and experience in this fast growing and emerging industry is unrivalled.

Dr Viet Le,Lecturer at Swinburne University

More Testimonials
AndMine-Google-Partner-Signature