This isn’t the first time that Google has faced an issue by allowing companies to buy adwords on competitive keywords. ConsimInfo, owners of Bharatmatrimony filed a case against Google India in 2009 and the company has again filed a complaint against Google in the Competition Commission of India, citing discriminatory trade practices related to its AdWords program.
“Google has abused its dominance by engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords. We have requested the Commission to investigate Google’s practices and impose remedial measures to protect competition. The increasing number of competition law complaints against Google globally suggests a pattern of anticompetitive conduct that needs to be checked in order to protect Indian businesses and consumers,” [ET].
Essentially, if you search for Bharatmatrimony (and other trademarked keywords), you will see ads from competing companies. While Google does competitive ad filtering, there are several permutations and combinations that enables advertisers to play with the system (for instance, shaadi is advertising on ‘Bharatmatrimonial’).
When Bharatmatrimony filed a case in 2009, they had asked for Rs. 10.05 L compensation.
In Europe, Google faced a similar case and presented a view that bidding on trademarked brands did not constitute an automatic infringement.
Recommended Read: Should startups worry about trademarks issues?
Trademark related resources
- How To Register Your Domain Name As Trademark
- How To Select A Good Brand Name [From Trademark Perspective]?
- Explained: Why & How to Conduct a Trademark Search?