Google bosses attempt to head off trademark legal threat

Google bosses attempt to head off trademark legal threat

Google is to hold urgent talks with the group of companies angry over changes to its trademark bidding policy in a move designed to head off any potential action.


Senior figures at Google are understood to be preparing a document to present to the group over the next few weeks outlining in detail the impact of the changes on click-through rates and advertising spend.


Travolution understands one of Google’s most senior figures, UK director Matt Brittin who announced the changes in early-April, will be part of a delegation meeting with representatives of the group.


It is believed the document illustrates that in many cases the volume of traffic to the sites has increased but has not had an adverse effect on pay-per-click costs.


The group initially came together in late-May – just weeks after the new rules came into force – to discuss whether a cross-company lawsuit could be launched to reverse the controversial policy which allows bidding on brand names.


A string of major consumer brands – including some of the UK’s biggest travel companies – are still considering legal action against Google and are preparing for what a source this week called “a battle based purely on principle – and nothing else”.


Recent reports suggested the group was split over whether to proceed with any action due to the complexity and costs associated with such a case.


It has since emerged that despite a cooling of activity on brand name bidding in some markets, a core group of companies is still eager to take on Google.


A Google spokesman said its “senior representatives meet with our partners all the time on a whole range of issues” but refused to confirm or deny if a meeting with the group is taking place.


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