Several hours ago a federal judge ruled that the search engine's advertising policy does not violate federal trademark laws. Score one for the consumer. It appears that if you are interested you can successfully bid on the term "Geico" in Adwords and display ads for it, even though they may not like it.
Here is a brief summary of the news:
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema rejected a claim by auto insurance giant Geico Corp., which argued that Google should not be allowed to sell ads to rival insurance companies that appear whenever Geico's name is typed into the Google search box.
Geico, claimed that Google's AdWords program, which displays the rival ads under a "Sponsored Links" heading next to a user's search results, confuses consumers and illegally exploits Geico's investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in its brand.
Apparently the court did not agree saying that "There is no evidence that that activity alone causes confusion". The ruling occured just three days after the trial had begun. Google is standing by the ruling saying that it "confirms that [their] policy complies with the law, particularly the use of trademarks as keywords." They are also claiming this as a victory for the consumer.
Read the full article here.