Just this week, Google announced that it was changing its already-disputed advertisement policy to allow limited use of trademarks in the text of some search ads, even if the trademark owner objects. This pours salt on the wound, according to many trademark owners that have opposed Google’s policy of allowing businesses to purchase trademarks to trigger pop-up ads above Google searches that include that trademark. This essentially allows competitors to show pop-up ads of their own brand whenever a competing brand name or trademark is typed into a Google search.
Individual suits have been filed by American Airlines and Geico, both of which have been settled outside of court. This week, however, FPX has filed a class action suit in a district court in Texas, claiming trademark infringement on behalf of all trademark owners in the state of Texas. While jurisdiction and class maintenance may be hard elements to satisfy in the case, if FPX can get by these, it has a decent chance at defeating Google on the issue.
More on the case and some of the integral players in a New York Times article.