Translation for Attorneys, Intellectual Property and Google Ads

Legal Translation of Google Ads into Foreign Languages

We’ve blogged about international legal language translation services in the content of trademark protection and the trademark applicants’ bona fide intent to use. When one conducts a multilingual or monolingual search on Google, one doesn’t often think about intellectual property law. But when advertising plays a role in the search, then IP can become an issue.

For example, when you search for a term in a search engine, besides the relevant pages will appear advertisements that match the searched for keywords. Knowing this, what if you decided to use your competitor’s brand as a keyword so that, when somebody searches for them, you actually show up on top – is this a copyright infringement?

As US District Court in California recently ruled on this exact issue. In Binder v. Disability Group, Inc., the plaintiffs and defendants were in competition for social security disability claimants. The defendants advertised their services on Google and used keywords that were the trademarks of the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs sued for statutory trademark infringement and unfair competition.

According to the court, there was a strong likelihood of confusion as the plaintiffs’ mark and that used by defendants as a keyword were identical. Furthermore, plaintiffs’ marks were strong as they were extensively marketed and advertised. Based on these findings, the court found that the infringement of the plaintiffs’ trademarks was a willful violation of the plaintiffs’ statutory and common law rights and awarded double damages plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs against the defendants.

This issue can become more of an issue when the trademark is in a foreign language, in which case the use and meaning will first have to be determined via a professional online legal translation.

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