As Trademarkia’s blog discussed earlier, the decision of the Court of Justice, would expose advertisers to trademark infringement claims. Accordingly, most business analysts have forecast a dip in revenues generated from Internet search marketing.
However, the European Court of Justice did not shed light upon how, when and where should an advertiser indicate that the goods and/or services on offer are from the advertiser and not from a brand owner, when a trademarked keyword was employed by the advertiser. While the stance taken by the Court of Justice may not be legally binding on courts in Singapore, search engine advertising is likely to be adversely impacted globally as the European court’s ruling questions the legitimacy of keyword search advertising, which lies at the core of a search engine marketing.
It is predicted that the European court’s decision will embolden brand owners to pursue advertisers in other jurisdictions, at least across Europe. It is expected that this will open a floodgate of lawsuits by brand owners against advertisers. Whether or not these predictions hold true is for time to tell. That said, brand owners may just as easily find land up on the other of the fence, especially if they employ their competitor’s trademarks as keywords to direct consumers their way.