The case is Accor Australia & New Zealand Hospitality Pty Ltd v Liv Pty Ltd
The case concerned a real estate agent advertising short term accommodation, using the name of a nearby Accor hotel (which was a registered trademark) to attract Internet users to the real estate agent's booking website.
The court confirmed findings of the trial judge that the following were trademark uses and trademark infringements: use of of the trademark in the domain name, use in metatags for the website, use in headings for the website, use in email addresses, and use in Google advertisements.
InterCity Group (NZ) Ltd v Nakedbus NZ Ltd  NZHC 379
See also comment.
Use of a competitor's mark in advertising could amount to an infringement of their trade mark unless it is clearly for descriptive or comparative purposes only e.g. if the advertisement includes sufficient text to differentiate the product or service that of the competitor.
Court Decision, Google Inc v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  HCA 1
This is a very topical class, with a number of relevant decisions from the past two weeks. Thus, there is a lot of reading for this class.
The main reading for the class is the iiNet case:
The 3-0 judgment against Google included the following text:
"An ordinary and reasonable user would conclude from these circumstances that it was Google who was displaying the sponsored link in collocation with the sponsor's URL in response to the user's search. Even if all these circumstances would not be apparent to ordinary and reasonable users, so that Google could not be "seen" by them to be more than a mere conduit, these circumstances show that Google is, in fact, much more than a mere conduit. ... Critical to this conclusion is the fact that the sponsored link is displayed on the screen in response to a user's query which is made by the entry of selected key words. Thus, the user asks a question of Google and obtains Google's response. Several features of the overall process indicate that Google engages in misleading conduct. ...
Google supplies its advertising customers with the ability to select keywords which are expected to be used by persons making enquiries through Google's search engine. The ability of advertisers to select "broad match" keywords enables them to trigger sponsored links through Google's search engine based on known associations which are determined by Google's proprietary algorithm. Although the keywords are selected by the advertiser, perhaps with input from Google, what is critical to the process is the triggering of the link by Google using its algorithms. That is a further reason to conclude that it is Google's conduct as a principal, not merely as a conduit, which is involved in each of the four instances that form the subject matter of this appeal."
Have a high level look at the following parts of the Google empire:
- Ten Things We Know To Be True
- Google Products
- Google Books
- AdWords and AdWords Help
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Trading Post Australia  FCA 1086 (22 September 2011), currently on appeal
- Click Fraud
- Advanced Click Fraud
Additional Reading if you have time:
- Official Google Blog
- Google's Inside Search
- 40 Changes for February 2012
- Google Watch Blog
- Prior Blog Posts Concerning Google
- Google's Guide to having your website indexed properly in Google search results
See Pacific Boating Group Pty Ltd v Freedom Boating Club Pty Ltd  FCA 72 (8 February 2012)
The key findings were that:
- ordinary and reasonable members of the relevant class of consumers are likely to understand that sponsored links are advertisements; and
- Google merely communicated the representations made by advertisers, without adopting or endorsing any of those representations
The court's reasons for decision are published at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2011/1086.html
Given the nature of the alleged infringement here, the most relevant factors to the analysis of the likelihood of con- fusion are: (1) the strength of the mark; (2) the evidence of actual confusion; (3) the type of goods and degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser; and (4) the labeling and appearance of the advertisements and the surrounding context on the screen displaying the results page.
The district court did not weigh the Sleekcraft factors flexibly to match the specific facts of this case. It relied on the Internet “troika,” which is highly illuminating in the context of domain names, but which fails to discern whether there is a likelihood of confusion in a keywords case. Because the linchpin of trademark infringement is consumer confusion, the district court abused its discretion in issuing the injunction. "
1. The breadth of Google.
Custom Search, example: Leading Australian Law Firms
Syndicated Search and example
Search tricks and tips
Other Google Stuff
Photos: Picasa and Picasa Web
More information: Wikipedia
How Google Works
2. AdWords and AdSense: Google Advertising
A. Do these searches on Google, Australian Google and UK Google and compare results:
- cheap accomodation queensland
- flowers paddington
- the tallest building in brisbane is
- Harvey World Travel
- Harvey World Travel Insurance
Look at the Google Ads on these websites:
- NY Times
- Van Gogh Gallery
- Brisbane Apartments and Reviews
- Cyberlaw and Policy and example article
- This Blog (look top right --->
C. Google Trends and Google Analytics
- create Ad
- select Keywords, budget and display location
- people then click on your Ad.
KeyWord Tool and Tool
More information: Google Learning Centre
E. Other types of Google advertising
F. Problems & Issues
(a) Pay Per Click Websites
Look at these websites:
RealSpanking and Jackass and UStream)
(b) Click Fraud
What percentage of click are fraudulent? See this story and here too.
Clickfraud is old news: Crack-down
(c) Trade Mark Issues
ACCC Lawsuit: See here and here and here and here (Google filed its defence on 17 November 2008.)
Geico Lawsuit and settlement
Google Business Solutions
3. Legal issues and lawsuits
Book Search Lawsuit and here
Caching & Copyright: see here and here and here
Also, see older posts in this blog, such as this post from 2006.
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