American Airlines Sues Google Over Keyword Advertisements

Aug 24, 2007 • 8:15 am | comments (7) by twitter | Filed Under Google AdWords

Last week, ComputerWorld reports that Google has been sued by American Airlines because the airline is seeking to stop its competitors from bidding on its trademark in Google.

Their argument is,

"Without authorization or approval from American Airlines, Google has sold to third parties the 'right' to use the trademarks and service marks of American Airlines or words, phrases, or terms confusingly similar to those marks as 'keyword' triggers that cause paid advertisements, which Google calls 'Sponsored Links' to appear alongside the 'natural results," the lawsuit said.

This isn't the first lawsuit against Google for trademarked terms.

WebmasterWorld members believe that the suit is baseless.

Their "trademarked search term" could also be considered generic. Kind of like when people are lookimg for american (based) airlines, french airlines, engilsh airlines, etc.

That's a good point.

But others are not rooting for Google.

I hope they win. How would like you competitors bidding on your company name. We don't.

History has been on Google's side before. Can they win again?

What do you think about this? Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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08/24/2007 02:55 pm

I think Eric has a good point in his <a href="" rel="nofollow nofollow">article</a>:<br><br>"it's not in Google's nature to retaliate this way, but I wonder what would happen if Google decided to cut off keyword advertising for American Airlines?"<br><br>Paid listings are different from organic, so just like any business, Google <i>should</i> be able to choose not to do business with certain companies just like a magazine or website can decide not to run ads for certain companies if they don't want to.

Barry Schwartz

08/24/2007 03:15 pm

Yes, we should have linked to Eric directly.


08/25/2007 11:26 pm

Actually, someone was doing this to me. They were using my name to advertise their business! Luckily, I stopped it before it went any further.

Greg Ryan

08/27/2007 11:58 am

I like your post anon. Google should just cut off American Airline's adwords account if they are going to be a baby about it.


08/27/2007 06:13 pm

Just cuase Google is big does not make them right. I believe American airline is right. Especially if they are paying extra for for sponsored links and google promises exclusive key words. that is what is needed to be shown.


08/28/2007 03:00 pm

Jerry, How did you stop it before it went any further. I take it you did not sue Google?


08/31/2007 02:53 am

Lasheita, I had to go directly to the advertiser and threaten a lawsuit. Stopped them in their tracks. Turns out, their webmaster was responsible for the whole issue. I am really not one for getting into lawsuits, but using my full name to get their service to come up in paid search was just wrong. They wouldn't like it if I was doing the same to them.

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