Washington, D.C. – The International Franchise Association (IFA) filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court of the state of Georgia to reverse the Court of Appeals and trial court and to allow the case of Edible IP LLC v. Google LLC to proceed.
In the amicus brief, IFA argues that brands gain intrinsic value over time through the expenditure of effort and money to build goodwill and positive name recognition. When Google auctions valuable brand names to third party advertisers for its own profit, IFA members suffer an unauthorized taking of the valuable property rights that they have licensed or purchased.
None of the money Google is paid by these third-party advertisers for use of the brand as a search keyword is paid to the brand owner or franchisees.
“Franchisors and franchisees alike invest tremendously in building a positive reputation for their business’ goods, services and community standing,” said IFA President and CEO Matt Haller. “It is astounding that Google can auction off valuable intellectual property, and the intrinsic good will built over time that is communicated through these ad search terms, to third party advertisers without any benefit to local franchise owners.”
The brief reads:
“All businesses, including IFA’s members and other members of the franchise industry, rely on the goodwill associated with their name. The Court should reverse the Court of Appeals’ order and allow this case to proceed in order to give the plaintiff-appellant an opportunity to investigate Google’s business practices and present its arguments in court.”
Celebrating 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations, and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology, and business development.