the paid search experts

020 3289 9655


Paid search audit
Independent, expert and confidential. Engineered to improve performance.

On-tap expertise, guidance and support.

On-site training for all levels of expertise.

Working with agencies
Landmark Adwords Trademark Case Judgement

by Matt O'Brien on May 21, 2013

The high court today announced its judgement in the long running Google Adwords trademark case between Marks & Spencer and Interflora.

The court ruled in favour of Interflora, concluding that Marks & Spencer’s use of the trademarked keyword “interflora” in their Adwords campaign to advertise its M&S Flowers & Gifts website was a trademark infringement.

Justice Arnold said: "The M&S advertisements which are the subject of Interflora’s claim did not enable reasonably well-informed and reasonably attentive internet users to ascertain whether the service referred to in the advertisements originated from [M&S or Interflora] ... On the contrary, as at 6 May 2008, a significant proportion of the consumers who searched for “interflora” and the other signs, and then clicked on M&S’s advertisements displayed in response to those searches, were led to believe, incorrectly, that M&S’s flower delivery service was part of the Interflora network."

The judgment means that Marks and Spencer cannot bid on the trademarked term ‘Interflora’ in the Google Adwords programme.

This case has been closely watched since Google relaxed its trademark policy in 2008 allowing advertisers to bid on other businesses trademarks, as the ruling has the potential to shape this area for British Google Adwords advertisers.

The implications of this ruling could have significant consequences for businesses using Google Adwords, with there now being legal precedence in favour of the trademark owner.

If your Adwords campaign is using the trademark terms of another business it may be time to give great consideration to their continued usage.

The Marks & Spencer v. Interflora case will return to court later in the year to determine the level of damages that Marks & Spencer must pay Interflora for this infringement.



Unscrambled produced great results in a relatively short space of time
and at great

The Open University

home   case studies   services   about   careers   contact   blog   privacy policy

020 3289 9655