This transformation is gaining speed. Trademark owners are realizing that a "search" versus a "navigation" are two different things. Search engines (in this case Google) should not be allowed to generate revenues from a a search query involving a trademark.
I have commented on this a number of times. I see this being a major disruption for revenues and how search engines display sponsored links. There will be a happy medium that allows a user to get to his targeted destination when using a trademark AND the search engine will be able to generate revenues from the brand name.
It's not hard to see how, but when. How many more cases of this will go to court before a compromise is made.
I would love to know a breakdown in percentage of dollars search engines generate from specific brand names. For example how much does Google generate per quarter off the most searched brand like Ebay. What if Ebay decided to take Google to court over the use of their TM?
Keep this in mind search engines, who provides the bulk of your revenues? You have to make these people (companies) happy. I know how you can.
From BBC News.com Google loses French court appeal .
Internet search engine Google has lost its appeal against a court ruling over trademark infringement brought about by two French travel companies.
Google must now pay 75,000 euros ($100,300; £52,000) in damages and costs to Luteciel and Viaticum.
A lawsuit was filed because Google users searching for the French firms found themselves directed instead to rival sponsored links.
Google's failure to follow the ruling quickly enough triggered the fine.
In October 2003, the French courts ordered the search engine to stop displaying rival sponsored links. The court said that Google had been guilty of "trademark counterfeiting".
Companies pay to have their websites linked to particular terms on Google.
Under Google policy, if it is judged that an advertiser uses a trademarked term as a "keyword trigger", those words are taken out of its campaign.
In my opinion if a trademark word is used in a search query, chances are pretty good it's just a navigation task that needs to be performed.