Friday, March 18, 2005

Google, Yahoo VS. Trademarks..A Battle Ahead

I have been commenting on the battle brewing between trademarks and search engines of late. The increasing suits against search engines that involve misuse of a particular TM or brand will create a major shift in the revenue structure for search engines.

My take is that by the time search engines coordinate a fair revenue sharing model, there will be a way TM/brands can bypass a search engine to advertise altogether.

I think there's an elephant in the room and nobody wants to address it, well I will. In my posts I have been curious as to how much revenue from search engines is derived from brands/trademarks, I got my answer from a Pondering Primate reader.

From a study done by NameProtect last Fall. The statistics are very astonishing.

Accoring to NameProtect's Study

NameProtect Inc.®, a digital brand protection and Internet intelligence company, today released the results of an analysis of paid search engine listings whichinclude textual advertisements within standard search engine results.

The results—which analyzed search listings at search engines Google®and Yahoo!®for the top global trademarks—revealed extensive third party advertising on these trademarked terms, with close to half of the paid listings promoting a good or service that was either competitive in nature or involved a potential unlicensed or counterfeit use of the trademark.
The analysis was conducted using NameProtect’s newly launched AdTracker monitoring service, which monitors paid search listings across multiple searchengines on a subscription basis.

Because search engine results are a key way in which consumers find products and services online,the findings of this new NameProtect study should serve as a strong wake up call for major brand holding companies,” said Mark McLane, chief executive officer of NameProtect. “This activity, if leftunchecked, could have a very large impact on the strength of the trademarks involved and the overall visibility these companies have with their customers in the online world.”

NameProtect analyzed search results at search leaders Google and Yahoo on the trademarked term associated with each of the Top 100 Brands during week of August 2, 2004.

Analysis of the 1056 paid listings included the following:• 92% of the Top 100 Brands have third parties buying their identical trademark for paid search advertisements •
There were an average of 10.56 paid listings included in the results for each of the Top 100 Brands •
98% of the paid listings included the Top 100 Brand in the text (title or description) of the advertisement

This last finding--involving extensive use of the trademark in the text of the third party paidlistings—is of particular note, as the use of the trademark in the actual advertisement is often a critical factor in determining whether the listing violates the trademark rights of the affected company.

These results should leave no doubt in the mind of brand holding companies that paid searchlistings are having a significant impact on their trademarks, revenues, and overall enterprise value,”indicated Mr. McLane

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And your friend Google lost two lawsuits in France and one appeal. In addition they pulled off a split decision with Geico which still may go against their business plan. Google may have some sharing plan up their sleeve. But, why would the Brands share once they get back control of their trademarks? Looks like some kind of show down on the horizon.