|If you thought autocomplete was about putting|
cars together, think again!
Better news for Google is that, according to the BGH press release, Google is legally liable only once it is aware of an infringing autocompletion of this nature -- but not before. This appears to suggest that there should now some corresponding legal right to demand from Google, at least in Germany, that it remove any such information that causes infringement of one's personality right in this manner.
The IPKat is fascinated by this. If autocomplete can do damage like this to people's surnames, it can presumably offer words like "fraud", "sucks" and "malodorous" in respect of registered trade marks too -- many of which are people's names or surnames. Merpel senses here that, in countries where the use of autocomplete carries no risk of legal liability, Google can develop a promising market for the sale of anti-keywords, where one can pay the company large sums of money for the privilege of suggesting poor quality, bad value for money or other undesirable characteristics in regard to a competitor's brands.
See also "Is Google Afraid of the Big Bad Wulff? No", here.