Readers of NeedtoKnow will recall our report on Google Inc's (Google) High Court win against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in which it was held that Google did not engage in misleading and deceptive conduct by displaying deceptive advertisements in its search results.
In a subsequent development, Google amended its AdWords trade mark policy to take effect from 23 April 2013 whereby Google will no longer monitor and restrict keywords for advertisements in response to complaints made by trade mark owners in Australia. The new policy will also take effect in China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, New Zealand, South Korea and Brazil. Google has indicated that the amendment will bring the policies for those countries into line with its policies that apply in other jurisdictions.
The change means that trade mark owners will no longer be able to rely on a central complaints procedure to remove Google advertisements that appear to have been generated using their trade marks or that display results containing their trade marks but will need to focus on pursuing each advertiser directly.