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  1. #1
    Member
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    January 18th, 2005
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    quote:
    Hello:

    I wanted to inform you that we have recently noticed that some of our
    Search Engine Publishers are bidding on Trademarked names as keywords.
    We wanted to remind you that bidding on Trademarked names as keywords is
    both a violation of United States Trademark law and the terms and conditions
    of your Commission Junction Publisher's Agreement. For example, while it is
    permissible to exact match bid on the keyword "cartridge" it is not permissible
    to exact match bid on the trademarked term "Cartridge World".

    We appreciate all of the hard work you have put into our program.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.

    Happy Holidays!

    Warmest regards,

    Jenn
    Jennifer Malek
    Marketing
    123inkjets.com
    jenn@123inkjets.com
    805-582-1046


    ---------------------------


    Best of luck to them proving that in court.

  2. #2
    ABW Founder Haiko de Poel, Jr.'s Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    21,609
    Continued Success,

    Haiko
    The secret of success is constancy of purpose ~ Disraeli

  3. #3
    Member
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    quote:
    The key issue at trial likely will be whether consumers mistakenly believe that Geico has somehow endorsed the sponsored listings that appear on the results pages.


    Anyone taking bets on Google winning this lawsuit?

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Mansfield, TX
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    quote:
    We wanted to remind you that bidding on Trademarked names as keywords is both a violation of United States Trademark law and the terms and conditions of your Commission Junction Publisher's Agreement.
    The part about it being a violation of Trademark law is yet to be shown. How about the other? Is there really a condition in the CJ Publisher's Agreement? I couldn't find one. The closest thing I could find was 2.3.j, which prohibits us from "(j) diluting, blurring or tarnishing the value of Advertiser's trademarks, tradenames, and/or service marks."

    I bid on a lot of different words. There's no way I'm going to try to figure out which ones might be trademarked. There are tons of common words that are trademarked. There are also merchants that don't mind you bidding on their trademarked terms.

    I will gladly remove any terms that a merchant reasonably requests to be removed or that the trademark owner requests to be removed.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
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    Michael,

    I agree. I couldn't find any stipulation in the Publisher agreement that prohibited such a practice. If keyword bidding was considered TM infringement (in court), then the diluting/blurring/tarnishing clause would be grounds for violating the agreement.

    Dave

  6. #6
    Member
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    I'll never understand how touchy some merchants can get on this subject. For instance - If I, as an affiliate of the blue widget company, were to promote their blue widgets, what sense does it make for me to make sure I avoided any mention of blue widgets in my efforts to promote them? As long as I'm not trying to convince people that I'm the blue widget company, what difference does it make? If they want me to promote their product, they should let me do so, as long as I act responsibly. Otherwise, why have an affiliate program?

    Merchants approve affiliates to promote their product, so why handicap them? This would be like your local tire store trying to promote a certain brand of tires in their ads, but never giving the name of the tire because they weren't allowed to use trademarked names in their advertising. Would you go there to buy these no-name tires, or would you assume that what they were selling was probably a second-rate product and take your hard-earned money elsewhere?

    When I see AdWords ads for products other than what was searched for in Google, I generally take them for what they are - competitor's ads for products similar to what I'm searching for. I really doubt too many people take them for anything else other than that, or believe that the competing companies products are endorsed by the company whose product I was originally searching for.

  7. #7
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Jenn I hate to tell you this but your are wrong it is not illegal. Judge Brinkema's ruling on 12/15/04 said that it is ok to bid. Please do a Google search for all the details.

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