In the new Louisville Business First Legal Forum Column, BGD attorney John W. Scruton discussed the recent "mobile-friendly" update from Google. Read his advice below and don’t miss our monthly Legal Forum Column in Louisville Business First!

Topic

Will Google’s recent update to the way it displays mobile search results affect trademark owners?

Advice

Google recently updated the way it displays URLs in mobile search results, trying to better identify search “hits.” Instead of displaying the full URL, search results will show the name of the website and the path to the particular responsive page in abbreviated form. While this sounds like a technical matter, it may prove to be of substantial interest to trademark owners.

First, customers may be confused when trying to find the desired website if there are multiple results with similar website names. This may affect how you choose to display your name, particularly if your mark is a common word. You may want to pair it with a descriptive term to better identify you, such as “Delta Airlines” rather than just “Delta.”

Second, Google’s criteria for the name suggest that if you want your main mark to show as the name of your website, you should get on this quickly. Once your preferred name is taken, you may not be able to get it.