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This article is more than 2 month old.

Trademark as keyword: Delhi High Court orders Google to probe web traffic diversion

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DRS Logistics, owners of Agarwal Packers & Movers, had filed a complaint saying Google allowed third-party entities to insert their infringing advertisements on the search engine when an internet user typed Agarwal Packers & Movers.

Trademark as keyword: Delhi High Court orders Google to probe web traffic diversion
Google is liable for omissions and commissions of an advertiser and should make sure that a keyword is not an infringement of trademark, the Delhi High Court has said.
Google investigates the use of trademark as a keyword in the European Union (EU) but not in India.
Questioning the tech giant’s lack of parity in policy, the high court has asked Google to investigate a complaint related to diversion of web traffic to an imposter's site by using trademark as a keyword on the search engine. The court said even though advertisements are part of "free speech," they cannot infringe on the trademark of an owner as that would lead to a misleading ad.
The case
DRS Logistics, owners of Agarwal Packers & Movers, had moved court against Google India, Google LLC and Just Dial, asking them to refrain from using or letting others use its trademark and variations as keywords. DRS Logistics said through its services, Google was allowing several third-party entities to insert their infringing advertisements on the search engine when an internet user typed Agarwal Packers & Movers. This was diverting traffic from the Agarwal Packers and Movers’ website to that of the advertiser.
What Google said
Google contended that keywords were chosen by advertisers and that the tech giant, as an intermediary, could not be held liable for such violations. It also said Agarwal Packers & Movers should address its complaints to the advertiser and not Google.
The order
In a 137-page order, Justice V. Kameswar Rao of the Delhi High Court said allowing advertisers to choose a keyword which is a trademarked term or interspersing it with other generic words in the ad-title or ad-text is an infringement.
Such a practice diverts traffic from the webpage of the trademark owner to that of the advertiser riding on the goodwill of the original owner and should be, therefore, investigated by Google.
It is unclear on what basis a distinction has been drawn by Google between certain countries with regard to the trademark policies so formulated and followed, the court said, pointing out that Google provided a higher duty of care in EU and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).
This was, however, a prima facie conclusion of the suit.
 
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