Friday, 27 May 2016

Appeal Court Decision in Africa's First Adword Case Provides Clarity

News just in from Bloemfontein is that M-Systems successfully defended the appeal by Cochrane Steel creating clarity that keyword bidding on a competitor's trade mark (on its own) is not passing off or unlawful competition in South Africa. The case will make it difficult to run an infringement suit on the same facts. It brings South Africa in line with worldwide jurisprudence on this issue, is Africa's first case on keyword use and will benefit Google's Adword program and other search engines. The appeal was dismissed with costs.

The history of the saga between market leader Cochrane Steel against new entrant M-Systems in respect of the keyword CLEARVU is outlined in this post here. The decision, handed down in just over a week from hearing, can be obtained here. Breaking news of Google's developments on their Adword service for mobile devices and native advertising is located here.

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