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  1. #1
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    TM Bidding - Judge sides with Google in dispute over keywords
    "In early 2005, computer repair company Rescuecom sued Google in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, alleging that Google was violating trademark by selling ads to Rescuecom's competitors that show up next to search results when someone types in "Rescuecom."

    Basically in this ruling, a competitor can bid on your TM terms. So maybe merchants would rather their affiliates bid on them instead of their competitors.

    http://news.com.com/2100-1030_3-6121483.html

    http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives...e_wins_key.htm

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Most registered trademark owners could give a rats ass about the liberal bent NY 2nd Circuit Court ruling. They are compelled by real copywrite & Trademark law to rigorously defend their private exclusive use of their marks.... or lose them. Your logic Trustno1 is skewed and flawed. Who the heck wants both your competitors and your own commissioned affiliates bidding on your trademarks? A quick legal C&D to the competitor mark bidder and odds are they cease the abuse.

    Same legal letter to some greedy scumbag, or 3rd world country affiliate, finds most using it as toilet paper. Post Trademark restrictions in your Merchant TOS and refuse payment to any violator with a termination notice.
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  3. #3
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    Trust makes a good point in another thread, and I won't comment on whether affiliates should be allowed to bid or not, but your competitors certainly can. Pepsi and Coke advertise using each others names all the time. Brand advertising opened up back in the 70's or 80's allowing competitors to use each others names/brands. So why is online advertising any different? If it is, then it needs to be equally legislated across all advertising channels.

    I am not saying whether it is right or wrong, I am saying that's the way it is.
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  4. #4
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    "A quick legal C&D to the competitor mark bidder and odds are they cease the abuse."

    Apparently you didn't read the links I posted. Mike, I could bid on Holdup Suspenders and take it to a page saying how my companies suspenders are better than yours. I can bid on it and take it to my own suspender site.

    The examples I have in the other thread Loxly is talking about is how competitors use their competitors marks all the time. Just watch TV commercials. Pepsi saying they're better than Coke. Prego using Ragu in their commericial showing how their sauce is better and thicker. Drano better than Liquid Plumber. Car commercials. There is one with a car company using 4 or 5 other car companies in their commercial, saying how their car is better. When I shop and buy Coca Cola at my grocery store, I get a checkout coupon for money off my next Pepsi purchase. Pepsi is targetting Coke. So why couldn't another suspender company target you? In fact there is:

    http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...+suspenders%22
    Last edited by Trust; September 30th, 2006 at 03:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrustNo1
    "In early 2005, computer repair company Rescuecom sued Google in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, alleging that Google was violating trademark by selling ads to Rescuecom's competitors that show up next to search results when someone types in "Rescuecom."
    Good. I always thought the attempts to stop competitive bidding were nonsense.

    Pepsi saying they're better than Coke. Prego using Ragu in their commericial showing how their sauce is better and thicker. Drano better than Liquid Plumber. Car commercials. There is one with a car company using 4 or 5 other car companies in their commercial, saying how their car is better.
    Exactly.

  6. #6
    Lite On The Do, Heavy On The Nuts Donuts's Avatar
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    Our courts have ruled on this same issue before many times. These latest cases just happen to apply to our technology side of marketing.

    The FTC has created several guidelines in the past as a result of these cases - here's one:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/policystmt/ad-compare.htm

    Generally, this argument says a company can advertise "Better than Dell" if they show facts to support their claims - because it promotes competition, and therefore lower prices and benefits and protects the consumer, the FTC states that it cannot be stopped even when it involves the use of trademarks.

    This same idealogy is being applied to bidding in ppc. HP may bid on the searched term "dell computer" if they wish.

    G disaalows the use of the word "Dell" in the ad itself, because they don't want to spend time in court proving each use on a case-by-case basis.

    Yahoo will eventually follow this path as well because it's legal and benefits the users of their search engines.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    ..."The Commission has supported the use of brand comparisons where the bases of comparison are clearly identified. Comparative advertising, when truthful and non-deceptive, is a source of important information to consumers and assists them in making rational purchase decisions. Comparative advertising encourages product improvement and innovation, and can lead to lower prices in the marketplace. For these reasons, the Commission will continue to scrutinize carefully restraints upon its use."

    .... "For purposes of this Policy Statement, comparative advertising is defined as advertising that compares alternative brands on objectively measurable attributes or price, and identifies the alternative brand by name, illustration or other distinctive information." http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/policystmt/ad-compare.htm

    The FTC sets and enforces advertising policies and rules. Judges cannot make policies -rules or laws .. only right or wrong judgements and impose penalities for violations of existing criminal and civil laws.
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