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

1700 BRISBANE APARTMENTS NOW MANAGED BY FORTUNE 500 COMPANY JLL

MULTINATIONAL and Fortune 500 company JLL (NYSE: JLL) has expanded its Australian dominance in the property managemen...

HARVEY NORMAN HITS OUT AT 'FALSE NEWS' OF ASIC INVESTIGATION

RETAIL giant Harvey Norman (ASX: HVN) has vehemently rejected reports its accounts are under investigation by ASIC, s...

RARE GOOD NEWS FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS ASIC CLOSES INVESTIGATION

ASIC has cleared Slater and Gordon of deliberately falsifying its accounts after a three-month investigation.

It s...

Q & A WITH FACEBOOK GURU ANDY MCKEON AS HE JOINS AUSTRALIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY LIVETILES

HE was creative director at Apple under the legendary Steve Jobs, and is now a senior Facebook executive. In his n...

Related News

RAY OF HOPE FOR SLATER AND GORDON AS LENDERS STEP IN

EMBATTLED law firm Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) has announced to the ASX that it has launched confidential discussion...

SPROUTX PROVIDES THE SEED FOR AGTECH STARTUPS

AGTECH innovation fund SproutX has opened applications for its first accelerator round, backed by $10 million from...

GAS PRICES MAY FORCE BRICKWORKS TO TAKE MANUFACTURING OVERSEAS

BRICKWORKS Limited (ASX:BKW) chairman Robert Millner says soaring energy prices may force the company to turn to offs...

CHINA CONTINUES TO COLLECT AUSSIE PROPERTY ASSETS

CHINESE coin continues to dominate Australia's offshore real estate investment market, accounting for almost h...

EVENTS COMING UP

 

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details
Subscriptions

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter