Are Australian trademarks the best on the Internet?
Earlier this week we discussed the results of Taylor Wessing’s second Global Intellectual Property Index on our IP Think Tank podcast. One interesting result was the relatively high ranking given to Australia in relation to trademarks – in third place right behind Germany.
Also this week there have been several press reports regarding the new trademarks complaint process to be adopted by Google for its AdWords service. In summary, Google will (from July 2009) allow third party trademarks to be used both as keywords and in the text of advertisements.
According to Out-law.com however, Google will not be lifting the ban on trademarked keywords and ad text for trademark rights in the “EU (excluding the UK & Ireland, where this change happened in 2008), Switzerland, Australia, China, Brazil, Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, New Zealand, Taiwan and both Koreas”.
For Australia’s part, continuation of the ban no doubt relates to the ongoing legal battle between the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Google.
Look at these two news items together, of the countries staying under the “old” Google policy, Germany is ranked top on the GIP Index, closely followed by Australia. The German register can be (slightly) more difficult to deal with for an English speaker with an English word mark and can also be more expensive than Australia for the typical one or two class application.
For those interested in defending keywords on AdWords, an Australian trademark registration sounds like just the ticket.
(Photo credit: aaardvaark)