Beginning Next Week: InsideCounsel will become part of Corporate Counsel. Bringing these two industry-leading websites together will now give you comprehensive coverage of the full spectrum of issues affecting today's General Counsel at companies of all sizes. You will continue to receive expert analysis on key issues including corporate litigation, labor developments, tech initiatives and intellectual property, as well as Women, Influence & Power in Law (WIPL) professional development content. Plus we'll be serving all ALM legal publications from one interconnected platform, powered by Law.com, giving you easy access to additional relevant content from other InsideCounsel sister publications.

To prevent a disruption in service, you will be automatically redirected to the new site next week. Thank you for being a valued InsideCounsel reader!

X

Australian High Court says Google is not responsible for search result ads

The landmark decision found that Google did not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct

Things are looking up Down Under for Google. Australia’s High Court issued a landmark ruling on Wednesday in favor of the company, unanimously finding that its sponsored links were not misleading, and that it was not responsible for what its advertisements said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had accused Google of misleading and deceptive conduct related to advertisements, based on search results in which a search for Honda Australia displayed a paid advertisement for CarSales, one of Honda’s competitors. Google claimed that it was merely a channel for the advertisements, not a publisher, and wasn’t responsible for them.

While a lower court initially ordered Google to set up a compliance program to keep misleading advertisements off of its search results, the High Court overturned that ruling, writing "Ordinary and reasonable users of the Google search engine would have understood that the representations conveyed by the sponsored links were those of the advertisers, and would not have concluded that Google adopted or endorsed the representations."

Though this ruling only applies to Australia, it sets the stage for a worldwide debate on the issue, as Google has faced similar challenges in other countries. In the U.S., the company settled a dispute with Rosetta Stone in November 2012, in which the language software company accused Google of selling its trademarks to third-party advertisers to use as search keywords.

Read more at Thomson Reuters.

 

For more InsideCounsel coverage of Google, see below:

Google/FTC deal will affect future technology patent disputes

Google, FTC reach settlement

Libraries win in Google Books infringement suit

FTC staff reportedly recommends antitrust lawsuit against Google

Google, publishers agree to e-book settlement

Join the Conversation

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.