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*’Paid Inclusion’ / ‘Keyword Buying’ – A Dangerous Road To Go For Microsoft

Microsoft’s search engine Bing.com is obviously currently testing a new layout which includes advertisements among its search results while insufficiency labelling them as advertising. This practise is known as ‘paid inclusion’ or ‘keyword buying’ on could prove as a dangerous road to go for Microsoft.

Yahoo! has already tried to go this way in 2009 but soon again ended its paid inclusion program after intensive controversy on this issue. Continue reading ‘*’Paid Inclusion’ / ‘Keyword Buying’ – A Dangerous Road To Go For Microsoft’

*BGH: Clear Win For Google AdWords in German Eis.de / Bananabay II Case

The German Federal High Court on Civil matter (BGH) ruled in early January that the booking of a sign identical to a trademark to trigger ads for similar products or services does not infringe TM law as long as the text of the ad does not contain the TM and the Display-URL points to a third-party website.

Today the full text of the decision got published (BGH, 13.01. 2011, Az.: I ZR 125/07).

The court not only ruled on the trademark aspects but also used the occasion to state expressively that AdWords and “MetaTags” have to be treated differently and that Keyword Advertising does notconstitute an act of unfair competition.

The decision  constitutes a significant victory for Google AdWords and its customers in Germany. Although the author does not fully understand what the court was trying to say in para 27, the decision is of surprisingly clear and also brings long-desired clarity to other legal questions related to keyword advertising.

As the author is painstakingly trying to finish a paper on L’Oreal on time here are just a few highlights:

Continue reading ‘*BGH: Clear Win For Google AdWords in German Eis.de / Bananabay II Case’

*Instant Preview Now Enabled -Almost- By Default

Google Layout 1997Most users will have noticed that Google’s search engine results page recently received a decent overhaul. One of the many things that has changed is the Instant Preview Function. This function allows users t ‘preview’ the website of a search result or an linked-to ad. Preview has been available for search results (‘Google Preview‘) since October 2010 and for ads (‘Instant Preview for Ads‘) since April 2011. Continue reading ‘*Instant Preview Now Enabled -Almost- By Default’

*OLG Frankfurt: Explanatory Message Triggered by ‘Mouseover’-Function Not Sufficient To Clarify Misleading Ad

In connection with his reply to a post from one week ago ananalysing the Instant Preview function for ads on Google, Dr. Stephan Ott has pointed out a very interesting German decision by the OLG Frankfurt (OLG Frankfurt a.M. 23.2.2011, Az. 6 W 111/10) concerning the mouseover function. To see an example of the mouseover function, place your mouse cursor >>here<<. Continue reading ‘*OLG Frankfurt: Explanatory Message Triggered by ‘Mouseover’-Function Not Sufficient To Clarify Misleading Ad’

*Google Shows Display-URLs In The Title of Top-Ads

As reported by the Google Inside AdWords Blog, from the 17th of May on Google has been showing parts of the ad’s Display-URL as a part of the title of some of their Top-Ads. The URL is being displayed without the http://www.-prefix or subdirectories and separated from the rest of the title by a vertical line. (To see the old layout, please click here)

Continue reading ‘*Google Shows Display-URLs In The Title of Top-Ads’

Google Instant Preview for Ads: Will your Website’s Background Colour Be More Important Than Your Ad-Text?

Google’s Instant Preview function for ads might have a significant impact onto the questions whether text-ads are infringing TM-rights as users of this function are shown a preview of the advertiser’s website even before they may click on the ad.

Without much celebration Google launched the instant  preview function also for ads on its website (SERP to be precise) on the 25th or April. This means that as soon as the user’s cursor moves (‘hovers‘) over an ad on Google the search engine will display a small preview (more details of the content of the preview below) of the advertisers website. As a result users will be shown a preview of the advertiser’s website even before the users can click onto the ad to jump to the website the ad is liked to.

Advertisers can not opt of this function as Google AdWords Help states that “Instant Previews are an integral part of the AdWords search and ads experience for users and advertisers.” According to Google this function is currently available for all non-RTL (right-to-left) languages. The function isn’t enabled by default but users have to activate it once by clicking on the little magnifying glass next to a search result or next to an ad.   

Continue reading ‘Google Instant Preview for Ads: Will your Website’s Background Colour Be More Important Than Your Ad-Text?’

*Google AdWords Workshop at the Masaryk University (Brno, CZ)

At the Google AdWords workshop in Brno I was given the chance to hold a presentation about the legal aspects of keyword advertising and to discuss some of the aspects (e.g. increase of the importance of law of unfair competition) with a very interested audience.

I’d like to especially thank the members of the faculty of Law at Masaryk University not only for the invitation, but also for allowing me a noticeable degree of flexibility, incredible hospitality (pick-up service from the railway station, splendid city tour, post-lecture meal, etc.) and most of all … extremely interesting discussions also concerning other fields of law (e.g. Data Retention, ISP liability, requests for information by the police/court under Czech law, …) after the workshop. Continue reading ‘*Google AdWords Workshop at the Masaryk University (Brno, CZ)’


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