An interesting development on the search-engine trademark infringement beat:
In a weird development that looked impossible two years back, search engine giant Google Inc. last week agreed to cooperate publicly with Click Forensics, a click-fraud detection company with which it has had a rocky relationship. . . .
Trademark infringement in Pay Per Click is an increasing and highly-perceptible problem on content networks and major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and MSN. Offenders commonly register domains containing recognized brand names and then display ads on them that generate traffic and PPC ad revenue. Consumers often see the results when mistyping a web site URL only to find themselves on a different web site with lots of ads and pop-ups. . . .
Click fraud occurs when someone clicks on an ad with malicious intent. For example, a competitor may click on a rival’s pay-per-click ads in order to drive up their ad spending. Or a publisher may click on pay-per-click ads on its site to trigger more commissions.
Google collects almost all of its revenue from the type of online advertising that is most vulnerable to click fraud — pay-per-click ads that appear along with relevant search results or in Web pages of relevant content.
Evidently these companies were at each other’s throats a while back. IP issues on the Internet does that to people.