The scope of the forum selection clause in the agreement applicable to the Google Adwords program extends to a plaintiff's dispute with Google over conduct predating the execution of the Adwords agreement, a district court ruled. The court relied upon language in the agreement providing that the clause applies to “all claims arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the Google Programs.” The court concluded that the plaintiff's trademark infringement claims against Google for its sale of the plaintiff's trademark to other advertisers fell within the plain language of the forum selection clause, and that there were no legal reason why the clause was limited to claims depending upon the contractual relationship between the parties or to claims arising subsequent to the execution of the agreement.

Flowbee International Inc. v. Google, Inc. (S.D. Tex. Feb. 8, 2010) Download PDF

Editor’s Note: Based on this court’s decision, it may be advisable to be very specific about the scope and applicability of a forum selection clause to disputes between the parties that preexist the effective date of the contract.