Google hails Delhi HC verdict on ads trademark policy
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8 months ago 01:55:44pm Television

Google hails Delhi HC verdict on ads trademark policy

New Delhi, August 12, 2023, By IBW Team


Google said on Saturday that it is pleased with the Delhi High Court’s decision, which held that the company’s ad trademark policy complies with the Indian Trademarks Act (TM Act) and does not constitute trademark infringement unless the resulting ad is found to mislead users as to the source of origin of the ad.

In a statement, the company said that specifically on its ads trademarks policy, “we have a clear and stated policy that does not allow advertisers to use trademarked terms in the ad-text of an ad, except in certain pro-consumer and legal scenarios, such as resellers and informational sites”.

“As a company, we comply with all local laws,” it added.

Google stated that it investigates any reported use of a trademarked term in adtext and takes prompt action to not only remove such ads but also to prevent that same advertiser from referencing the trademark in future ads, IANS reported from New Delhi.

The company responded after the Delhi High Court ruled this week that Google cannot claim safe harbor protection under the Information Technology Act of 2000, nor can it be exempt from liability for trademark infringement when using a trademark as a keyword in its advertising program.

A bench of Justices Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan also acknowledged that Google’s ads program is a commercial venture, and that using a trademark as a keyword in advertisements for products or services constitutes trademark exploitation in advertising under Section 29(6) of the Trademarks Act.

Nonetheless, the court clarified that employing these trademarks as keywords wouldn’t amount to infringement if there is no confusion, dilution, or compromise of the trademark’s integrity.

On the subject of safe harbour and Google’s liability under Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, the court emphasised that the tech giant is an active participant, not a passive intermediary, in its ads programme.

Google said that it wants users to trust the ads on its platform, “so we strive to ensure ads are clear and honest, and provide the information that users need to make informed decisions”.

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