April 20, 2007, 12:00 AM

Judge allows suit against Google to proceed

A United States District Court judge in New York has ordered that a trademark infringement suit brought against Google by American Blind & Wallpaper Factory Inc. can proceed.

A United States District Court judge in New York has ordered that a trademark infringement suit brought against Google by American Blind & Wallpaper Factory Inc. can proceed. Judge Jeremy Fogel rejected Google’s motion to have the suit dismissed.

American Blind charges that Google has violated trademark laws by allowing rival companies to buy the company`s name and other trademarks as keyword search terms in order to appear as the top listing on Google`s search results page.

“The large number of businesses and users affected by Google`s Adwords program indicates that a significant public interest exists in determining whether the Adwords program violates trademark law,” Fogel said in his ruling.

“There is a reason why we have trademark laws. They protect people,” Joel Levine, president and CEO of American Blind, says. “Google should not have greater rights than other business in the United States; it should not be able to trample the rights of business owners just because it is a large, powerful company.”

"Judge Fogel rightfully concluded that they did not prove that two of their marks are protectable, and we are confident that they will be unable to prove their remaining claims at trial," Michael Kwun, Google`s litigation counsel, said in a statement.

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