Google to readdress trademark policy following European Commission Ruling?


Last week came the news that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had ruled in favour of Interflora in their case against Marks and Spencer for bidding on Interflora brand keywords in Google. The advocate general, Niilo Jääskinen, of the ECJ has recommended that brands should be found liable if they are found directly bidding on competitors terms, which means that Google may have to re-look at its trademark bidding policy.

Interflora & M&S


Google has always claimed that it is not liable for any trademark breaches following a dispute with Louis Vuitton, but with this new ruling Google may have to concede to the EU and start to police trademark bidding within its search engine. This will go against Google’s principles as they look to be independent between the advertisers in this case Interflora and Marks and Specner. Google may want to take a more active stance on this matter as they are currently under investigation in another case from the European Union after accusations of anti-competitiveness and by working with the EU, this may help their future case that is currently being reviewed.

So what does this mean for brand trademark owners, Google and competitors?


–          Google runs the risk of increased legal issues with advertisers in the future and Google’s reputation goes down within the industry

–          There could be a reversal from Google on their trademark policy based on this EU ruling as Google is forced to police trademarked terms in future

–          There would be a decrease in cost-per-clicks (CPC’s) for advertisers on their brand terms when competitors come off of these terms which could mean a drop in Google’s revenue

Brand Trademark Owners

–          Sets a precedence which means that other large brands (such as Louis Vuitton) would look to challenge Google in the future regarding their trademark policy.

Competitor Bidders

–          Competitors brand bidders (and by association, their agencies) will be more nervous due to this new ruling and therefore may back off of these terms. This could decrease their advertising spend with Google especially ‘big’ advertisers such as

In my opinion I do not expect to see immediate changes from Google regarding their trademark policy as it could take 6-12 months before we see changes implemented.  I do expect to see changes in the SERP’s (search engine result pages) as competitors come off of trademarked terms following this ruling in the upcoming weeks. However, it will be interesting to see the Google response to this new ruling and how the World’s largest search engine will react to the European Comission’s recommendations.

Sri interviewed by Travolution!

Here’s a photo of Sri Sharma, founder of Net Media Planet, caught on camera during his video interview with the UK’s leading multi-media brand for the online travel industry, Travolution, this morning.

Sri was asked by Editor Brad Girtz to explain the latest innovations in paid search marketing – watch this space for the upcoming video interview, coming online soon!

3rd May 2011 – the video’s out on Travolution’s home page as a top in-depth story.  Please find the video interview focusing on Net Media Planet PPC innovations here

Net Media Planet shortlisted for two a4uawards!

We’ve just found out that Net Media Planet has been shortlisted for two a4uAwards under the categories Best Search Partnership and the International Award.

We’re really excited about these fantastic nominations and can’t wait to find out if we’ve won when we attend the awards ceremony on May 17th. Here’s hoping for a successful night!

Net Media Planet working with the Amazon Charitable Trust

Today, Net Media Planet has embarked on its first PPC campaign for charity. The venture initially began when our Managing Director, Sri Sharma, enjoyed a holiday in the Amazon Rainforest as an eco-tourist, where he stayed in the Xixuau Xiparina reserve in the accommodation of the Amazon Charitable Trust.


The Amazon Charitable Trust (ACT) is an organization which prioritizes sustainable development in the rainforest in order to preserve the pristine environment of the Amazon. They work alongside the local traditional and indigenous communities, supporting their projects to ensure self sufficiency and protecting the natural resources of the diverse environment. Since their founding in 2009, they have established two schools, provided internet connection, and paid for the training of Xixuau’s community nurse in the reserve they care for. They have also built a visitor centre for a limited number of tourists to share the aspects of the rainforest which are so valuable to the livelihood of the local community and to the environment. Through focusing on education, health and managed tourism, the ACT is ensuring economical development and improvement in the quality of life for the indigenous population, whilst still preserving the environmental integrity and diversity of the region.


In order to support them in their mission however, the ACT need public support in the form of visitors and donations, causing the building up of public awareness and exposure to be a significant objective. Despite being on holiday, Sri, as ever, had his PPC cap firmly in place and spotted an opportunity for the trust to use PPC to aid in this endeavor. On 9th November, an associate of the charity, Chris Clark, came to Net Media Planet to share with our team ACT’s story and aims. After a slide show full of stunning landscapes and untouched environment, in conjunction with Chris’s narrative of ACT’s past achievements and future ambitions, the Net Media Planet team was eager to help the trust promote its brand and agenda online.

Google Grants

We applied for a Google Grants, a programme offered by Google providing free advertising budget to registered UK charities. Once Google had reviewed our application and the ACT’s website, they accepted us onto the programme, providing a daily budget if $329 and a maximum cpc bid of $1 for each keyword. On the condition that our fully built campaign met all their policy guidelines, we would be able to help ACT achieve their goals by promoting their website on Google.

Today, we have received the final approval on our PPC campaign for ACT, and we look forward to using our knowledge of PPC to help such a worthy cause.  Through increased online exposure we hope to contribute to the ACT’s mission in protecting the 178,000 hectares of spectacular rainforest which they currently account for, as well as helping the community of Xixuau to develop the skills and mechanisms to protect an even greater area of the Amazon.