Google loosens Europe ad trademark controls

Aug 04, 2010
Ben Novick, spokesman for Google's European advertising arm, pictured at Google's Paris office on August 4. Google shook up its lucrative online advertising service in Europe on Wednesday, saying it would allow sellers to register other companies' brand names as search "keywords" when shopping on the Internet.

Google shook up its lucrative online advertising service in Europe on Wednesday, saying it would allow sellers to register other companies' brand names as search "keywords" when shopping on the Internet.

The US giant currently allows advertisers to demand their brand be omitted from the list of keywords that other companies pay to have linked to their websites to boost the chances their company will appear in online searches.

Spokesman Ben Novick said this practice would be scrapped in many European countries and territories from September 14, in line with its existing policy in most other countries, after a ruling by Europe's highest court.

"This is beneficial to users. They'll see more relevant ads when they've done a search," Novick told reporters at the Paris office of Google, the world's biggest .

Under Google's current system in Europe a big car company, for example, could prevent the appearance of ads for a separate company selling parts for its cars alongside the results when a user searches using its brand name.

After the change announced Wednesday, the parts firm will be able to have its services included in search results for the other company's brand name, by including it among the keywords it pays for.

The change means "narrowing what brand owners can control," Google lawyer Yoram Elkaim told reporters.

The countries affected include France, where companies including luxury goods group Louis Vuitton sued , alleging it infringed their trademarks by allowing other firms to index their brands as keywords.

The European Court of Justice ruled in Google's favour, prompting it to announce the new change which it says will present with a range of results less restricted to certain companies.

"Obviously some of our big spenders are trademark owners, but we feel this is right for users," Novick said.

He declined to forecast how the change may boost Google's own earnings from online advertising, which account for 97 percent of its overall revenues, notably through its Adwords service which lets advertisers bid for keywords.

Explore further: Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Luxury industry says EU ruling limits Google ads

Mar 23, 2010

(AP) -- Luxury goods manufacturers said a ruling Tuesday from the European Union's highest court will stop Google Inc. selling their brand names as advertising keywords to unauthorized sellers or counterfeiters ...

Rosetta Stone sues Google over trademark

Jul 10, 2009

Rosetta Stone, a language-learning software producer, on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against Google for infringing its trademark through Google's AdWords online advertising program.

Google wins Rosetta Stone trademark case

Apr 29, 2010

Google said Thursday that a US judge ruled that the Internet giant's AdWords advertising program did not infringe on the trademark of language software producer Rosetta Stone.

Google to expand TV ad service to online video

Mar 27, 2009

Internet giant Google is testing a new service that would expand its television-ad brokering business to YouTube and video on other websites, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Recommended for you

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

Dec 18, 2014

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle ...

UN General Assembly OKs digital privacy resolution

Dec 18, 2014

The U.N. General Assembly has approved a resolution demanding better digital privacy protections for people around the world, another response to Edward Snowden's revelations about U.S. government spying.

Online privacy to remain thorny issue: survey

Dec 18, 2014

Online privacy will remain a thorny issue over the next decade, without a widely accepted system that balances user rights and personal data collection, a survey of experts showed Thursday.

Spain: Google News vanishes amid 'Google Tax' spat

Dec 16, 2014

Google on Tuesday followed through with a pledge to shut down Google News in Spain in reaction to a Spanish law requiring news publishers to receive payment for content even if they are willing to give it away.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.