Nakedbus loses 'intercity' fight

MICHAEL FOREMAN
Last updated 14:40 17/02/2014

Relevant offers

Better Business

How to beat your work blues New LoveNelson site set to boost Nelson businesses Exporting to become more efficient with Outward MasterChef judge Al Brown returns to Wellington with Best Ugly Bagels 'Modern slavery' laws put Kiwi companies under pressure to stamp out abuse Bland budget a stable platform for Wellington business growth Young, ignorant and starting a business Mark Fisher: who are your mentors? Mark Fisher: hanging out with workmates is good for business Weta Workshop adds new smaller models to profitable collectibles business

InterCity Group has won a landmark legal dispute against rival bus company Nakedbus over the latter's use of the trademarked term "intercity" to drive Google advertisements.

Nakedbus ran advertisements on Google AdWords which would respond to searches for the word "intercity" to trigger advertisements for Nakedbus.

AdWords is a paid advertising service offered by Google. The service uses keywords in internet searches to trigger advertisements on the Google results page.

Nakedbus had defended using the words "inter" and "city" as AdWords search terms in Google searches because they were key descriptors of the domestic bus network and the words individually were commonly used.

But the High Court at Auckland has ruled that Nakedbus had deliberately infringed InterCity's trade mark "InterCity" and had attempted to pass itself off as InterCity.

"We feel vindicated by the ruling and are happy with the outcome," InterCity acting chief executive Nick Hurdle said.

"This was a cynical, calculated and deliberate attempt by a competitor to leverage our trademark and mislead customers. Indeed it was described by the judge as an attempt to exploit the wide recognition of our trademark, InterCity."

Intercity complained to Google in December 2012.

Google responded by blocking any advertisements for Nakedbus using "Intercity" as the search term, but lifted the ban in April.

Hamish Nuttall, chief executive of Nakedbus, did not respond to a request for comment.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content