Legal chiefs at some of the UK’s leading brands convened a crisis meeting last week to look at the legality ;of ;Google’s revamped keywords policy, which they believe infringes their trademarks.
The summit was attended by general counsel and heads of legal from companies including Arcadia Group, which owns Topshop and Dorothy Perkins, Lastminute.com, Saga and the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) .
Arcadia head of legal Mary Geraghty told The Lawyer: “Everybody’s aware of this and we’re considering our legal position like many other companies.”
The group met to discuss the Google policy that allows brands to bid for rival trademarks and brand names to push their own brands up the search results list.
The policy, which was introduced on 5 May, lifted Google’s ban on restrictions that prevented companies from being able to bid on protected trademarks via pay-per-click ad slots.
Abta head of legal Simon Bunce is believed to have met ;with ;members ;to discuss its position with a view ;to ;issuing ;legal guidance.
It is understood that Lastminute.com and Saga are both holding discussions on the matter, with the former considering taking legal action against Google.
Google ;said ;it ;had conducted a full legal and business review in the UK and Ireland before implementing the policy and that it was confident of its legal position.