Apple Europe Crackdown On Google Ads?

Spotted via Steve Rubel,
Apple Cracks Down on
Google AdWords
at TidBITS suggests that Apple may be pushing on Google to
enforce rules preventing advertisers from having ads show up in response to its
trademarks in Europe.

Though the ads were initially said to have been stopped because of the use of
the word "Mac" in the ad text, it later turned out that the complaint involved
ads targeting that word that were showing up in the EU. The solution seemed to
be restricting the ads to show up only in the US.

Google’s trademark
policy
differs in the US and the UK. In the US, you can target ads to show
up in response to terms that are also trademarks. You simply cannot use
trademarked terms in ad COPY, if a trademark holder objects. In the EU, Google
may restrict the ability to target ads to show up in response to terms that are
also trademarks AND/OR the use of those terms in ad copy.

Why? Google has faced different lawsuits. In the US, the GEICO case
found that
linking ads to terms that are also trademarks was not confusing nor a trademark
violation. But the court did think the use of trademarked terms in ad copy
potentially might be confusing. Google’s policy in the US gave it an end run
around this.

In the EU, Google’s
lost cases
about ads being triggered by terms that are also trademarks, thus the tighter
policy.

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