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Google Wins American Blinds Legal War of Attrition

After spending close to 4 years suing Google for trademark infringement, American Blind & Wallpaper has apparently rolled over and shown their belly in defeat.

According to Reuters, the case has been settled with Google not having to make any changes or pay American Blind a single penny. In addition to both parties paying their own legal costs…

American Blinds agreed not to sue Google “so long as Google does not make a material change in its AdWords trademark policy that adversely affects (American Blinds & Wallpaper Factory.” It also agreed not to assist other parties in suing Google.

“Google has not made and has not agreed to make any payment to (American Blinds & Wallpaper) of any kind whatsoever, whether in cash, credit or otherwise, and that Google has not agreed to change its trademark policies or any exception to how it applies its trademark policies,” the agreement said.

Google, of course, is claiming this as a huge victor–which it is:

“From the start, we’ve said that American Blind & Wallpaper Factory’s claims were baseless, and that Google’s trademark policies are perfectly reasonable and lawful,” Michael Kwun, Google’s managing counsel for litigation said in a statement.

American Blind had taken on the role of fighting Google on behalf of the little guy. There’s no doubt that their perseverance was key in encouraging others to file suit and step into the court room with Google. Now that they’ve given-up, I wonder if others will step-up and fill their shoes or follow their lead and cave-in.

It goes to show, suing Google is not a matter of whether you’re right and their wrong. The victor is the one that has the deepest pockets, the best legal team, and the most incentive to win. In this case, Google can’t ever afford to lose a trademark case–AdWords is its livelihood.

  • http://www.ericlander.com Eric Lander

    I think the key to this is summarized beautifully in your final statement. Google is no longer search, it is advertising. As an advertising company, they couldn’t afford to take a hit like this — and they paid to make it go away.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Eric – yep, I’m sure they have a huge budget assigned to defending these claims.

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    Did Google pay American Blind? I thought the article is saying they didn’t have to pay anything. I’m sure they do have a budget to pay to make lawsuits go away. Are we assuming that’s happening behind the scenes in this case?

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    @Steven – supposedly they didn’t make any settlement. I suspect Eric means that Google threw a ton of money at their legal team to make it go away. ;-)

  • http://www.vitabase.com Greg Howlett

    This is amazing. Unless there was a backoffice deal to pay off American Blind or Google had some dirt on them, this settlement just does not make sense. Why would American Blind make the concessions they did? It makes them look like the guilty party and they clearly are not. Neither should they be punished because the lawsuit was frivilous because it was not.

  • http://www.globalgolf.com Al Scillitani

    The funny thing about the case was that American Blinds was bidding on their competitors names while the lawsuit was going on.
    Looks like that recently changed and now they are bidding on “blinds” in broad match.

  • http://blog.digitalaxle.com/ Ana

    We agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion. And, considering our rather shallow pockets and limited legal resources, we have officially decided not to sue Google. The incentive is still there, though. :)

  • http://www.friendlydirectories.com Bidding Directory

    Google will rule the word. I cant wait for google phone.:)