Court Orders Negative Keywords Used To Block Trademark Terms

Eric Goldman reported a Florida court made a default judgment that requires including negative keywords in search advertising to ensure broad match does not include their trademarked term. Obviously this only applies to the specific instance but there is a dangerous precedent being allowed.

Goldman sees the suit applying to just expanded match in broad match - but it is restricting the use of a trademarked term as just a keyword and not in the ad as Google currently allow and requires the use of negative keywords to ensure they get blocked - or at least then passing the culpability to Google.

With the isolation of responsibility to Google by following these rules - if that is the case - I wonder if Orion Bank will be going after them next... this one I don't see them having a no show for a defendant.

The requested ruling that won by default (no one showed to contend it) included:

a) from any and all use of the term ORION, ORION RESIDENTIAL
FINANCE, or any other confusingly similar term;
b) from using any sign, advertisement, slogans, internet domain name,
promotional material, promotional communication, and/or printed or electronic
matter containing the term ORION, or any other confusingly similar term.

That would stop them from using orion as a term, the domain they own (but they could be a registered company with the name Orion Residential Financein Florida as the suit lists) OrionResidentialFinance.com, and much more.

Beyond the one to one defendant - the suit did allow for it to apply to any other company by including:

ORION RESIDENTIAL FINANCE,
LLC, a Florida limited liability co.,
and VARIOUS JOHN DOES,
JANE DOES and ABC COMPANIES,

Does ABC Companies mean any future people trying to use Orion?

This has to get taken back to the courts soon.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.