The Delhi High Court has questioned tech giant Google over lack of parity in its policy for India, against the European Union countries, on investigating cases of usage of trademark as a keyword on its search engine by third party entities, resulting in diversion of traffic from the website of the trademark owner to webpage of the third party entities.
“In a way the [third party] advertiser through oblique motives is cashing upon the goodwill of the trademark owner for his own benefit and through which process Google is earning revenue and as such is equally liable for the omissions and commissions of the advertiser,” Justice V. Kameswar Rao said.
The court’s observation came while adjudicating a case filed by DRS Logistics (P) Ltd, owners of Agarwal Packers and Movers, seeking direction to Google to restrain third party entities from using its registered trademarks as their keyword or as a ‘meta tag’.
DRS Logistics contended that several third party entities use the services of Google for inserting their infringing advertisements when a user on the Internet looks for it by typing ‘Agarwal Packers & Movers’.
The court highlighted that as per Google’s policy it investigated use of the trademark as a keyword but that was only confined for the EU. “It is unclear that on what basis has a distinction been drawn by Google between certain countries with regard to the trademark policies so formulated and followed,” it said.
“It is clear from Google’s EU and EFTA [European Free Trade Association] policy that Google provides a higher duty of care in a jurisdiction where large portions of the population are Internet literate. This further fortifies as to why such a policy should be followed in India,” Justice Rao said.