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Buying Registered Trademarks as Google Adwords?

Have you ever taken the time to Google your company name?

It might be worth your time. If you find that your competitors are more prominently displayed in the tan sponsored link box or along the right side of the search page, you may be able to stop these companies from purchasing your company's trademarks as Google Adwords.

Recent federal court decisions have held that purchasing a competitor's trademark as a Google Adword tag can constitute trademark infringement, even if the company never displays the trademark in its ad.

The case for infringement is enhanced when the sponsored ad is designed in a way that is likely to cause consumers to think that the ad is associated or affiliated with the company that owns the trademark or tries to harness the consumer's initial interest in the company that owns the trademark and then directs them away from that company's website. Resuecom v. Google, Inc., 562 F.3d 123, 126 (2nd Cir. 2009); Soilworks, LLC v Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc., 575 F.Supp.2d 1118, 1131 (D. Ariz. 2008).

If you need help removing an offending advertisement from Google or another search engine, contact a Foster Swift Information Technology attorney.

Categories: Intellectual Property, Trademarks

Photo of Zachary W. Behler
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As a licensed patent attorney,  handles matters such as patent prosecution, patent infringement litigation, patent portfolio administration, trademarks, trade secrets, and copyrights protection.

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