American Airlines Sues Google over Keyword Ads

American Airlines Inc. Thursday filed a lawsuit against Google Inc., claiming the search company is infringing on the airline’s trademarks by using them as keyword triggers for paid advertisements by other companies.By bringing the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Fort Worth Division, American wants to stop competitors from using those trademarks to trigger their own advertising on Google.Neither Google nor American could be reached for comment.,136092-c,techindustrytrends/article.htmlAlso see:
Lawsuit Challenges Google’s Keyword Ads
Google and other search engines have been on the receiving end of a dozen or so lawsuits challenging a common practice in search advertising: the use of someone’s trademark, say Mercedes Benz, to show an ad for a competitor, say a BMW dealer. In that case, the BMW dealer would be buying ads tied to the search keyword “Mercedes Benz” from Google. So far the legal scorecard favors search engines. They have won several of these cases, and while they have suffered some adverse rulings they have yet to definitively lose a case. Airlines Sues Google Over Keyword Ads by Eric Goldman
Well, this is interesting. It’s not unusual for a trademark owner to sue Google for keyword-triggered ads–been there, done that. However, the fact that American Airlines pulled the trigger catches my attention. Many trademark owners who have sued Google had relatively obscure brands. Rescuecom? JTH Tax? Check-n-Go? Even American Blinds is hardly a household name. In contrast, American Airlines is an extremely well-known trademark owner with a big portfolio of trademarks. Further, American Airlines apparently decided it was worth going to war over this issue–and is prepared to pay the big bucks to litigate this case accordingly. If this lawsuit runs its course, I expect this to be a hard-fought and expensive lawsuit. Aren’t So Friendly For Google
American Airlines wants Google to stop engaging in one of its biggest business practices. The airline wants Google to stop selling keyword-based sponsored search results tied to any of its trademarks and is seeking punitive damages over the alleged infringement. Airlines Sues Google Over Search Words [Reuters]
The airline accuses Google of violating trademark laws with its practice of selling search terms such as “American Airlines” or “” to other companies for advertising. Sues Google Over Keyword Ads [AP]
American Airlines is suing Google Inc. over the Internet company’s sale of keywords ads for rivals triggered by its own trademarks.

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