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

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES REVEALED

WHILE Queensland is regarded as an economy in transition with the winding down of the mining boom, the 2017 top 50...

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES 1-10

FROM insurance and banking to travel, gambling, retail, property and pizza, these "heavyweights" have ha...

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES 11-20

RETAIL, property, an airline, cars, real estate, software services, energy, agriculture, veterinary services bathr...

2017 BRISBANE TOP COMPANIES 21-30

JEWELLERS Michael Hill International listed in 2016 with a half-billion dollar market capitalisation and a new CEO...

Related News

FURNITURE DISRUPTOR SET TO SHARE HIS ONE OF A KIND BUSINESS MODEL

IT'S no secret that Australians love homemaking. Their ceaseless quest to create the perfect place to call hom...

WEEDING OUT THE ASX'S BURGEONING CANNABIS TREND: 8 COMPANIES TO WATCH

A NICHE is budding on the ASX in the form of medical cannabis, an industry which has been on the country's rad...

FRESH CLASS ACTION TO REVEAL ANOTHER SIDE OF SLATER AND GORDON DOWNFALL

ACA LAWYERS has issued a formal letter of demand to Andrew Grech (pictured), managing director of Slater and Gordo...

STARSHIPS WERE MEANT TO DELIVER DOMINO'S PIZZA

NICKI Minaj may have been off the mark when she declared 'starships were meant to fly'. However, she m...

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