Google’s AdWords advertising sales for trademarked names and competitive business terms is being challenged again in the court room, this time in France. AXA, the world’s No. 3 insurer, is taking Google to court next month in the latest trademark challenge to threaten the heart of Google’s business model advertising.
AXA, which posted $86 billion in revenue last year, is the largest company yet to take the keyword “hijacking” and trademark targeted advertising controversy into a legal court. A ruling may have a large effect on the way Google serves targeted AdWords ads in the EU.
According to AP wire:
A preliminary hearing on AXA’s allegations of “brand counterfeiting” is scheduled for May 10 in Paris, a court official said. Both companies have confirmed that litigation is pending but declined to comment on the case or say how much AXA was seeking in damages. Under French court procedures, details will not be made public until later hearings.A source close to the insurer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the lawsuit was filed after Google sold AXA’s registered trademarks as advertising search terms.
Google searchers who typed “AXA” or “Direct Assurance” looking for search results were served AdWords text advertisements for other insurance companies which purchased such placement from Google.