This is no ordinary lawsuit... this is a Marks & Spencer lawsuit...
It's always enjoyable to see two big brands rutting like stags, so we'll be interested to learn what becomes of Interflora versus Marks & Spencer. The outcome could change the way online advertising works in the UK, since the flower-powered delivery firm - the biggest in the world - is claiming that M&S sponsored the word "Interflora" (and several obvious spelling mistakes) as search engine keywords in Google's AdWords programme.
While there may not be an issue searching Google for generic terms related to flower delivery, Interflora says M&S has taken unfair advantage of Interflora's brand, in breach of trade mark law. Essentially, when users searched for Interflora, the company claims adverts for M&S (and Flowers Direct) appeared as sponsored links.
Google allows customers signed up with AdWords to sponsor most keywords typed into the search engine. It's a potentially crucial case, because not only does it have obvious repercussions for how companies promote their products through services like Google, but it perhaps raises further questions about the use of search engine optimisation (SEO) to increase the popularity of a website on search engines like Google.
A thorough Googling for Interflora reveals no Mark & Spencer sponsored links, so if they were involved in such activity, somebody's tinkered with their back end since. We did, however, find this nice picture of a kitten: