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Google comments on adword lawsuits

During the last months Links & Law often featured reports about new lawsuits brought against Google because of the use of trademarked terms in adwords. In its SEC filings Google commented on these lawsuits:


"Companies have also filed trademark infringement and related claims against us over the display of ads in response to user queries that include trademark terms. The outcomes of these lawsuits have differed from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. A court in France has held us liable for allowing advertisers to select certain trademarked terms as keywords. We have appealed this decision. We were also sued in Germany on a similar matter where a court held that we are not liable for the actions of our advertisers prior to notification of trademark rights. We are litigating similar issues in other cases in the U.S., France and Germany.


 In order to provide users with more useful ads, we have recently revised our trademark policy in the U.S. and Canada. Under our new policy, we no longer disable ads due to selection by our advertisers of trademarks as keyword triggers for the ads. As a result of this change in policy, we may be subject to more trademark infringement lawsuits. Defending these lawsuits could take time and resources. Adverse results in these lawsuits may result in, or even compel, a change in this practice which could result in a loss of revenue for us, which could harm our business."



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