Keyword Advertising and Domain Name Law Slides

By Eric Goldman

Today, I spoke to an audience of Chinese IP judges about keyword advertising and domain names in the United States. I put together some slides and written materials. These materials aren’t especially profound, especially for regular readers, but you might find them a useful recap nonetheless. I learned a number of things from the talk:

1) It’s very hard and unnatural for me to slow down my presentation enough for translators to keep up!

2) One judge believed that all of Baidu’s search results are pay-for-play, i.e., rank-ordered based on the amounts that advertisers pay Baidu. Is this true? (It feels like something I should know, but the information I’m finding online is surprisingly scrappy). If Baidu is pure pay-for-play, this would reinforce why it was so detrimental for Google to pull out of China. I made the point last year that Google’s departure could be a long-term drag on the Chinese economy because the Chinese economy will have less effective search engines than other economies.

3) Although there was a significant language barrier that might have obscured their intent, it seemed like the Chinese judges were having a hard time wrapping their heads around the idea that Google’s trademark liability for selling keyword advertising wasn’t notice-and-takedown. In fact, we don’t know that notice-and-takedown for Google’s keyword sales won’t ultimately prevail in the United States; but it hasn’t yet.