Google Ad Suit Settled
Posted Sep 5, 2007 5:10 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A blinds and wallpaper company says American Airlines has a better chance of making its trademark infringement claim fly against Google.
American Blind and Wallpaper Factory has settled a declaratory judgment suit brought by Google posing an unusual legal question: whether a search engine violates a company’s trademark by allowing competitors to place ads next to search results for its name.
Google did not make any concession in the deal, reached after American Blind suffered several legal setbacks, the Recorder reports.
American Blind CEO Joel Levine told the Recorder that American is better positioned to test the trademark claim in court.
"American Airlines is more well-suited to take on Google than we are," Levine said. "We sell blinds and wallpaper and that's what we do best. We're not litigators."
A federal judge had made pretrial rulings limiting American Blind’s trademark claims and allowing Google to present evidence the company had tried to buy the same kind of ads at issue in the suit. The company also faced a $15,000 sanction for failing to preserve and disclose relevant documents.