A bloggers view on search in Europe: Martin Assmann
[Editor]Germany is an ever growing market when it comes to search engine marketing and paid search. We can see that by the growing amount of blogs and articles on the subject.
Because of this growing market we are again very happy to have another German blogger joining our forces. This time we can welcome Martin Assmann to our team. Martin is a SEM Account Manager at iCrossing Germany since 2007 working from in Munich. Before it he studied Online Media at the Furtwangen University in Black Forest and graduaded as computer scientist.
Martin also starts of his Searchcowboy-career with a post on search in Europe. He takes a surprising legal angle at it. Enjoy!
Cultural challenges in search in Europe
The challenge on search in Europe is on a cultural dimension. At first you think about all the different languages that are spoken in Europe. Some languages use special characters and even if a language is spoken transnational, there are differences from country to country. My previous speakers still posted some good notes about this important subject. Therefore, I want to highlight a different aspect: The legal situation. The European Union has 27 member states and each state has its own laws. Does this also have an impact on search? Of course, and the best way to point that out is the Google AdWords Trademark.
On May 2008 Google changed its trademark policy in the UK. Keywords that had been deactivated by Google in cause of a trademark complaint from now on were accepted without restrictions. Trademark complaints were no longer handled by the search giant.
A different country, a different legal situation. On January 2009 Google lost a lawsuit in France. The Tribunal de Grande Instance ordered Google to pay damages and refund because they hadn't taken all necessary precautions for brand protection. Competing ads had been delivered for search terms that were similar to trademarked brands. A problem, in which Google's broad match is certainly not entirely innocent.
In Germany there are several conflicting court rulings, and we are still waiting on a final decision on Google AdWords Trademark by the European Court of Justice.
In conclusion the legal situation in Europe is complex and not consistent. This concerns not only the trademark, but also more generally the issue of advertising.