Google Wins German Trademark Ruling

Share this article:
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.


Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.

Sign up to our newsletters

Follow us on Twitter @dmnews

Latest Jobs:

More in News

Target Names Retail Veteran Brian Cornell as CEO

Target Names Retail Veteran Brian Cornell as CEO

He leaves the top job at PepsiCo Foods to take the spot vacated by Greg Steinhafel in the aftermath of the data breach.

NBA Names Insurance Exec as its CMO

NBA Names Insurance Exec as its CMO

Nationwide and State Farm veteran Pamela El takes the league's marketing helm next month.

Bloomberg Names Bigley CMO

Bloomberg Names Bigley CMO

Communications chief Deirdre Bigley is appointed head of global marketing for the business and financial news company.