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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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Hello, We are using Adwords PPC to promote our business and

Resolved Question:

Hello,
We are using Adwords PPC to promote our business and bidding on competitors name.
Our ads not do not mention their name or showing that we are related to them in any way.
This is a larger company threatening us now with legal action knowing that legal advice might be simply to expensive for us.
From the information I have found, we are not breaking any law or breaching trademaks.
Question are:
- what costs we can expect in terms of legal representation?
- Can they proceed with legal action even if we not breaking any law?
- what options do we have?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 2 years ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : For now please let me know if you use their name or products in the search keywords?
Customer:

Hello Alex,

Customer:

Yes, we are bidding on their company name as a Key Word

Alex Watts :

Do they know this?

Customer:

They assume, as we are are showing up when someone is searching for their company name which is specific.

Alex Watts :

Ok, but you are actually their name as a keyword?

Customer:

Yes we are using it as keyword

Alex Watts :

But all that is showing as an Ad via Google, right?

Customer:

We are bidding on the keyword which is their company name, every time someone is searching for them Google display our ad. They cannot see the keyword we are bidding on, but because their company name is ***** ***** - they assume we do it. And they assume correctly. According to Google Trademark policy we are allowed to do so as long as we not using their name in actual ad or suggesting that we are connected somehow to this company.

Alex Watts :

Ok- let me look a few things up

Alex Watts :

Ok - I do not think you need to worry. If you were passing yourself off as the Company that would be different. But you are simply using their name in the keyword. However they do not know this- they are assuming

Alex Watts :

If it went to Court they would need to show you were using the word and had suffered a loss as a result

Alex Watts :

So just because you are shown does not mean they have suffered a loss

Alex Watts :

They can't show they have lost any customers.

Alex Watts :

So yes they can proceed with action, it would be for a Court to dismiss it

Alex Watts :

In terms of costs if any claim is £10,000 or under it would be a small claim so no legal fees would be payable

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer:

Can they ask for our reports from Google which shows how many people clicked our ad and how many we actually got in touch? This would show that we are gain business using they company name as keyword.

Alex Watts :

Only if they get a Court order.

Alex Watts :

Yes but that just shows clicks

Alex Watts :

They would also have to show these same clicks gave you business

Alex Watts :

That is where they would struggle

Customer:

Actually statistics would show all the conversions, first into opportunity then sale

Customer:

how hard would be to get a court order?

Alex Watts :

Ok - I thought adwords only shows clicks

Customer:

This is a complete advertising system where you can actually track your roi

Alex Watts :

Ah got it.

Alex Watts :

In any event they would need to show that a customer would be confused between your name and their name

Alex Watts :

All you are doing is using the name in the adword

Alex Watts :

They don't have a claim

Alex Watts :

Can I clarify anything else for you?

Customer:

ok, last two questions:

Alex Watts :

Sure

Alex Watts :

But I can't tell you what the lottery numbers will be]

Customer:

If the claim would go into a small claim court do I need to hire a lawyer?

Alex Watts :

No

Customer:

If the claim would be hire than £10.000 what then?

Alex Watts :

Those fees cant be recovered and its designed for in person low value claims

Alex Watts :

If it is higher then it would be open Court and you would need a lawyer.

Alex Watts :

But if you win you can ask for costs

Customer:

how much representation like this would cost, bulpark

Alex Watts :

£200 per hour so about £10,000 or so

Customer:

truly last question:)

Alex Watts :

ok

Customer:

This is ant email from them, can you explain what laws they referring to if any:

Customer:

I am fully aware of Google Adwords and the policies
along with the relevant UK laws.

I am not going to argue this further, however it is clear you intention is
to gain business buy bidding on our brand name "Movecorp".

Unless we get confirmation that you have ceased using the search term we
will commence proceedings, I suggest you get some legal advice on this asap.

The policies and terms Google offer are not representative of relevant laws
and they will not be the ones paying your legal bill!

I look forward to your response by end of business Monday.

Alex Watts :

They are just saying Google policy does not apply.

Alex Watts : They haven't taken legal advice by the look of it
Alex Watts : Does that help?
Ash and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you