In what I think is a pivotal case for Internet advertising, Judge issues decision in GEICO v. Google
Is this the straw that breaks the search engine camel's back?
A U.S. District Court judge ruled today that GEICO, in its case against Google, "established a likelihood of confusion, and therefore a violation of the Lanham Act, solely with regard to those Sponsored Links that use GEICO's trademarks in their headings or text."
Does this open the door for more trademark owners to grab their share of search engine revenue?
Will this mean trademarks and brand names can only be sold by their owners?
Maybe some search engine experts can tell me what the value of "Geico" is as a keyword versus "car insurance". This will be an interesting stat to watch.
The court stayed the trial for 30 days to give the parties an opportunity to settle. If the parties do not settle, the trial will continue as to the amount of damages and on the issue of who is liable: Google, or the advertisers on Google.
The next conundrum.
The written decision leaves open the issue of whether the sale and use of trademarks by search engines and advertisers to trigger ads that do not contain other parties' trademarks violates the law," said Charles Davies, GEICO's General Counsel
I made comments about this before Give the lizard a break, and Lizard went to court, and Google being greedy
Here's what I'm thinking. What if every brand or trademark owner jumps on this and goes after the search engines? Does this one event change their revenue model?
Does this provide open season on Google?