Is Google really in trouble? According to an article in the International Herald Tribune, Google is losing some high profile trademark cases around the world based on its system, of selling advertising based on keyword. Google has been sued unsuccessfully in the
The question becomes will courts in other countries use the same logic? On the surface what Google does must be the worst thing in the world for companies with strong brands as it allows competitors with no investment in brand-building to take advantage of the trademarks of others. Still, this is something that is analogous to what can be done in a magazine or newspaper today. Google’s Adwords program just makes it cheaper and easier to accomplish.
There is a second part to this story as Google is also being sued for using images and stories of other websites without permission. Interestingly the story focuses exclusively on lawsuits in
The scope of what search engines can do and how they make money is in question if courts in other parts of the world rule against Google. Google is the most well-known name in search and is blazing a new trail and in doing so they may be responsible for setting legal precedents that the search industry will follow for years to come.