It should be interesting at the High Court in London today when the Worlds leading flower delivery company take on Marks and Spencer over their use of the keyword “interflora” within their Google AdWords Campaign.
Google changed the rules on trademark advertising a couple of years ago and this case will be a great test regarding how the UK trademark laws will be translated to the modern world of online and keyword advertising.
Google will allow you to use a competitors brand name to trigger your advert however, they still reject adverts that use trademarks within the advertising text. Interflora are also asking about misspellings of the brand name also for example “Inter-Flora” or “intaflora”
Recent case regarding Trademarks & AdWords
July 2010 – Portakabin v Primakabin, from personal experience I understand how aggressive Portakabin protect their brand name both on and offline. A few months ago the European Court of Justice ruled that a company can prevent another company from using its trade mark as an “AdWord”, where the advert in question does not allow an ordinary internet user to identify whether the goods being provided through the advert originate from the original trade mark owner or a third party.