Google loosens Europe ad trademark controls

08:38, August 05, 2010      

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Google shook up its lucrative online advertising service in Europe Wednesday, saying it would allow sellers to register other companies' brand names as search "keywords" when shopping on the Internet.

The US giant currently allows advertisers to demand their brand be omitted from the list of keywords that other companies pay to have linked to their websites to boost the chances their company will appear in online searches.

Spokesman Ben Novick said this practice would be scrapped in many European countries and territories starting September 14, in line with its existing policy in most other countries, after a ruling by Europe's highest court.

"This is beneficial to users. They'll see more relevant ads when they've done a search," Novick told reporters in Paris.

Under Google's current system in Europe, a big car company, for example, could prevent the appearance of ads for a separate company selling parts for its cars alongside the results when a user searches using its brand name.

After the change announced Wednesday, the parts firm will be able to have its services included in search results for the other company's brand name, by including it among the keywords it pays for.

The change means "narrowing what brand owners can control," Google lawyer Yoram Elkaim told reporters.

The countries affected include France, where companies such as luxury goods group Louis Vuitton sued Google, alleging it infringed on their trademarks by allowing other firms to index their brands as keywords.

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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