AdWords Jury Boxing In November
Google and American Blind & Wallpaper Factory (ABWF) could be destined to collide in court over trademark infringement allegations made by ABWT against AdWords.
Despite their bitter differences, Google and ABWF won’t be firing anything more dangerous than sharpened, expensive legalese at each other should their dispute remain unsettled into the fall.
CNBC said federal judge Jeremy Fogel set November 9th as the jury selection date in ABWF’s trial against Google. ABWF complained of trademark infringement by competitors through Google’s AdWords program, and filed suit in 2003.
Google permits competitors to buy keywords to trigger paid search ads through its AdWords program. However, trademarked words cannot be displayed by a competitor in an ad. Google’s chief paid search rival, Yahoo, does not permit competitor keyword buys.
In April, Google received only part of the summary judgment they wanted in the case. Fogel set aside ABWF’s claims of infringement against the marks "American Blinds" and "American Blind," but allowed the rest of the case to proceed.
That wasn’t the outcome Google expected. They have beaten GEICO and Rescuecom in similar cases (Rescuecom is appealing), though as Reuters noted they lost a French court ruling to Louis Vuitton.