SA’s first Google AdWords judgment faces appeal bid


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Johannesburg - Perimeter security barrier company Cochrane Steel is moving to appeal a court ruling on South Africa’s first-ever Google AdWords case

In August, Cochrane Steel launched a final interdict at the High Court of South Africa (Gauteng Local Division) seeking to restrain its rival M-Systems from using ‘ClearVu’ as a keyword or ‘metatag’ in the Google AdWords system. Cochrane Steel also accused M-Systems of driving up the price of the ‘ClearVu’ keyword in Google AdWords
Google AdWords lets business owners bid on words for text adverts that appear alongside searches for certain keywords
Meanwhile, ClearVu is a high security fencing system that is sold in South Africa by Cochrane Steel. However, the ClearVu brand is not yet a registered trademark in South Africa, despite Cochrane Steel having previously applied to secure the brand’s identity.



M-Systems did previously admit to bidding on the ‘ClearVu’ keyword in its Google AdWords, but the company denied using the brand as a metatag in its advertising
Judge CH Nicholls last month then resorted to common law to rule against Cochrane Steel in the country’s first AdWords case. Judge Nicholls ruled that M-Systems is not guilty of passing off the ClearVu brand by bidding on 'ClearVu' as a keyword in AdWords
But Cochrane Steel’s lawyers have confirmed they are moving to appeal this decision
“What I can tell you is that we have filed an application for leave for appeal,” Monty Rademeyer of Rademeyer Attorneys told Fin24 regarding his client Cochrane Steel.



The leave for appeal was also filed on Tuesday night, according to M-Systems' lawyer Darren Olivier who is from law firm Adams & Adams
“They just filed a notice for a request for leave to appeal,” Olivier told Fin24
“The date has not been given. There will be a hearing for this request and if allowed, it will then go to one of the appeal courts - they have requested the SCA (Supreme Court of Appeal). We are reviewing the notice with our client,” Olivier told Fin24


Further details about reasons for the appeal have not being disclosed by Monty Rademeyer. Cochrane Steel was also not immediately available to comment


Cochrane Steel vs M-Systems

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