When I started doing my research in 2007 the question of the legality of keyword advertising appeared in Austria to be very straight forward. The Austrian Supreme Court (OGH) in Wein&Co (OGH, 20.03.2007, 17Ob 1/07g) had ruled, without going into much detail, that the booking of a competitor’s trademark as a keyword on Google AdWords constituted per se an infringement trademark law as well as an unfair practise of competition.
It took until early 2010 before the disputable view of the Austrian court got turned over by the ECJ preliminary ruling inC-278/08 BergSpechte. The Austrian court consequently had to follow the ECJ’s guidance, but still remains, using the room of interpretation left by the ECJ, to be one of the most conservative (right-holder friendly) courts in Europe in this respect.
In the three year period between the OGH’s decision in 2007 and the ECJ’s decision in 2010 I received a lot of positive feedback and input on my blog about my critical analysis of the Austrian situation which encouraged me to continue with my research while most of my Austrian colleagues regarded it to be rather pointless.
I especially want to highlight the value of the comments readers left beneath my posts to me, as they provided me with continuous feedback which was mostly encouraging but sometimes also clearly showed me that my concepts were flawed or that my assumptions (e.g. on the dynamic keyword insertion; thank you matt van wagner & Michael Aringer of Limesoda ) were simply wrong.
Through my blog, I also got into touch with two great persons, who did not only -substantially- supported me in my research through inspiring exchanges of ideas, but also encouraged me to publish my views in publications. This has not only made it possible for me to contribute and to issue a considerable number of publications, but was at the same time a starting point for great friendships. Thank you Birgit, Danke Stephan!
Summing it all up, I can only recommend other PhD or doctoral candidates not to wait too long before trying to publish their research. This does not only help to find colleagues working on the same topic, but also teaches you to express your thoughts in a short and precise language. The downside –at least in the beginning– may be a kind of addiction for website-statisitics and the urge to post a detailed analysis of any given decision of your field of research within 6 hours of the publication of the decision, the upsides however clearly prevails and lead among other very nice things, such as explicit mentions in Indian court decisions, also to numerous invitations as guest- speaker and -lecturer and most of all the support of the blogosphere (which means that you will receive above mentioned decision only minutes after it got published ;)
There is one more person I’d like to express my gratitude to;
Thank you Christina for turning my non-native, heavily Germanic sounding, sometimes hardly comprehensive, page-long and virtually comma-free draft texts into splendid pieces of English language ;)
The initial purpose of this website has been fulfilled and I will therefore spend less time on it in the future. I will however try to come back every now and then to keep the table of keyword advertising decisions up-to-date and maybe post a few lines in case a new keyword advertising decision comes to my attention.
Bye, bye and thank you for the fish ;)