Google allows advertisers to buy search terms, including trademarks of rival advertisers. The buyers can then use them in displays on the top or right side of the first page of results when an user searches the trademark as a search term. It will not remove or disable any link to any ad unless the ad actually uses the trademark in the text of the ad. And it is, according to a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Firepond, a deceptive trademark practice.
The Google feels so confident it can win any battle that starting June 4, in about 200 countries, advertisers will be allowed to purchase rival trademarks as keywords to trigger display of “sponsored search” ads.
Eric Goldman, who has taken a dim view of similar lawsuits, speculates that Google could decide it wants to form the class so that it can permanently end all similar trademark litigation. Any settlement would be binding on all, according to Goldman.