LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – American Airlines said on Friday that it sued the Internet search leader Google, accusing it of selling search words involving American’s name.
Reuters report that the claim is the latest in a string of cases filed by businesses that argue that Google’s pay-per-click advertising system, its main source of revenue, is used unfairly by competitors to grab business.
Google has prevailed in at least two similar cases in the United States, including a lawsuit brought by Geico, the auto insurer, but it still faces trial in California this year in a case brought by American Blind and Wallpaper Factory, as well as overseas claims.
The American Airlines lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas, accuses Google of violating trademark laws with its practice of selling search terms such as “American Airlines” or “AA.com” to other companies for advertising.
The airline, a unit of AMR, accuses Google of selling the right to use American Airlines’ trademarks and service marks, or “words, phrases, or terms confusingly similar to those marks,” to competitors who then direct searchers to their own Web pages.
“This lawsuit involves efforts by certain companies to free ride on American Airlines’ brands through use of Google’s technology,” according to the filing.
Google said it was on solid ground.
“We are confident that our trademark policy strikes a proper balance between trademark owners’ interests and consumer choice, and that our position has been validated by decisions in previous trademark cases,” Google said in a statement.