Google Wins German Trademark Ruling

Share this content:
A German state court dismissed a trademark-infringement case yesterday brought against Google for its search advertising system.


A Hamburg district court rejected a complaint filed by German software company Metaspinner Media over Google selling ads to Metaspinner's competitors tied to searches for "preispiraten," the trademarked name of Metaspinner's price-comparison software.


"We must wait now for the written reason of the court and then decide how we can protect our marks against such encroachments," Christopher Berndt, managing director of Metaspinner, said in a statement.


Google representatives were unavailable for comment.


Google has faced several trademark-related lawsuits in the United States and Europe over its advertising system, which accounts for 98 percent of its sales. The legal complaints focus on Google's policy allowing other businesses to display ads in response to terms whose trademarks are owned by others.


In the United States, a District Court judge in Virginia ruled last month that Geico could proceed with its trademark complaint against Google and Yahoo for displaying competing ads when users search for its trademarked name. American Blind & Wallpaper and Pets Warehouse also are suing Google, alleging trademark infringement.


Outside of the United States and Canada, Google's trademark policy is to allow bidding on trademarked terms until trademark owners object. Google's German Web site now displays only a single ad from Metaspinner in response to searches for "preispiraten."


In April, Google loosened its trademark policy in the United States and Canada to let advertisers bid on any trademarked term as long as they do not use it in their ad copy. The company said it made the change to give searchers more choice and to avoid the situation of Google acting as an arbitrator of trademark disputes.


Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here