Google and AOL were slapped with a lawsuit filed this week by the American Blind and Wallpaper Factory. Suits against search term advertising have intensified lately- especially with the Playboy-AOL ruling last week. this latest suit may help settle an ongoing dispute over whether Google’s policy of selling ads related to search terms is legal or involves trademark infringement.
According to CNet, American Blind and Wallpaper Factory filed suit against the search giant and its partners, AOL and Netscape, in a New York federal court Tuesday. The suit claims Google’s practice of selling text ads related to keyword search terms takes advantage of American Blind’s trademarks, given that competitors’ ads can appear on results pages turned up by searches for “American wallpaper” and “American blind.”
In November, Google filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., asking the court to rule on whether its keyword-advertising policy is legal. Google had said it would block advertisers from buying keywords that directly infringe on American Blind’s trademarks, including “American Blind Factory” and “DecorateToday” but said it could not block other descriptive phrases American Blind wished to protect. Those phrases included “American wallpaper” and “American blind.”