Will Google Ban Trade in Trademarks?
John Battelle has a nice write up and some commentary on the rumour first aired over at wmw that Google may phase out Adword Trademarks bids. It would seem that the gravy train many affiliates have been riding for some time may come grinding to a halt. Though it is only rumour as of yet:
The implications are significant here - the affiliate industry, which makes a lot f money arbitraging trademarked keywords, would be dramatically impacted. And Google stands to lose what may well be a significant revenue stream. But I sense there may be more at work here than merely "improving users' experience."
The UK information may be unfounded rumor, but the fact is, Google (and Overture) face a very serious threat from lawsuits over trademarked terms. In short, Geico (yup, owned by Google hero Warren Buffet) and American Blinds both have very serious complaints pending against Google, and both litigants are not going to go away. The cases are winding their way toward what could be a very public and very unpleasant discovery period.