Use of trademarks in Google Ads Programme: Safir Anand’s expert speak for ET

Anand and Anand

With the Delhi High Court stressing in the interim that use of trademarked words for bidding in the Google ad programme could amount to trademark infringement, The Economic Times approached Safir Anand for his opinion on what the judgement means.

“Indian courts have taken a different stand for the protection of ‘trademark owners’. Over the last three cases (for MakeMyTrip, UdChalo and DRS Logistics), the courts have prohibited the unauthorised users from bidding for the trademarks of other entities as that would amount to violation of the rights of the trademark owner. This puts a lot of onus on search engines to ascertain that the keyword chosen by the advertiser is not trademarked and, even if it is, the same has been licensed or assigned or subjected to consented use,” Safir tells ET.

“Certainly, the view adopted by Indian courts puts a greater burden on the search engines and therefore has more impact on their ad business as compared to Europe. However, the stand will become clearer as the judicial approach on the topic matures and becomes clearer,” he adds.

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