DODGE INTERNET TRADEMARK RISK

Written on the 9 May 2011

DODGE INTERNET TRADEMARK RISK

QUEENSLAND companies using the internet to boost business should choose their words carefully to avoid being hit with trademark infringement claims.

McCullough Robertson partner Malcolm McBratney, says a recent Danish decision highlights the risk of using a competitor’s trademark as an AdWord on Google.

“Even if the trademark is a descriptive one and not a title or company name, using it for your own business by making it an AdWord in the Google search engine could result in trouble, including legal action and damages,” he says.

“This decision certainly has wide implications for businesses everywhere with the growing reliance on internet marketing and search engine optimisation.”

The recent case in Denmark’s Commercial Court, ruled that a company’s use of a rival company’s trade mark as an AdWord on Google was a violation of trade mark rights and contrary to good marketing practice.

“The trade mark ‘Billedbutikken’, which means picture shop, had been used by the owner for a number of years in relation to the process of digital photographs, not a title,” explains McBratney.

“Pixelpartner stopped using the word after demands from the trade mark owner but was still taken to court and successfully sued by Billedbutikken for lost turnover and damages.”

McBratney says the decision to award compensation and damages supports the position that use of a trademark as an AdWord search term on Google can constitute trade mark infringement and a breach of competition and consumer legislation.

“The case would be decided similarly here in Australia,” he says.

“Before embarking on an online campaign or new brand, businesses need to look before they leap and ensure they’re not using brands or words that other businesses are already using as identifiers for their business.

“This is especially the case when considering domain names, social networking, AdWords and other online activities.”


Latest News

HOW TO LEAD A BETTER BUSINESS WITH YOUR PARTNER

PEOPLE say that starting your own business is one of the greatest challenges you can face. Edward and Rebecca Plan...

CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT NOTCHES UP 23 YEARS OF CONSECUTIVE GROWTH

CORPORATE Travel Management (ASX: CTD) has reported its strongest ever full-year results, with a net profit increa...

REPORTING SEASON WRAP: TUESDAY HIGHLIGHTS

* BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) reported full year net profit of $7.42 billion compared to a $8 billion loss in the previou...

GREENCROSS PLANS MORE IN STORE VET CLINICS ON THE BACK OF A 21.5 PER CENT PROFIT RISE

VETERINARY services provider Greencross Limited (ASX: GXL) has reported an increase in profit of 21.5 per cent to ...

Related News

DARK DAYS AHEAD FOR AUSTRALIAN RETAIL AS REPORT FORECASTS MAJOR INDUSTRY ROUT

ALMOST 1,600 retail businesses are at risk of imminent collapse, including 21 major retailers with turnovers of more ...

REPORTING SEASON WRAP: MONDAY HIGHLIGHTS

* FORTESCUE Metals (ASX: FMG) reported net profit after tax (NPAT) of $2.64 billion for the year to June 30, up fr...

WESFARMERS BOOKS BUMPER PROFIT BUT SUPERMARKET WAR HITS COLES' BOTTOM LINE

SUPERMARKET giant Coles has posted its biggest slide in earnings since it was acquired by Wesfarmers (ASX: WES) 10 ye...

ANALYSTS PREDICT WHAT AUSSIE LIVING IS LIKELY TO BECOME IN THE NEXT CENTURY

AS THE Australian population continues to grow, analysts are predicting what the country is likely to look like wi...

BOOK YOUR FUNCTION SPACE HERE

 

 

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter