Flowers delivery business Interflora is reportedly suing Marks & Spencer for buying its brand name as a keyword on Google.
Interflora objects to the fact that when users search for Interflora, Google delivers sponsored links to rival companies. Interflora is also suing rival Flowers Direct Online for the same reason.
The move could change the way trademark laws apply to internet advertising. Interflora accuses M&S of bidding on the word “Interflora” and sponsoring misspellings of the word such as “Intaflora” and “Inter-flora”.
Interflora claims this is a trademark infringement and is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and a court injunction to stop M&S bidding on its name.
A spokesperson for M&S told the Daily Telegraph: “We are extremely surprised that Interflora has taken this course of action. This is industry-wide practice and is not unlawful.”