Today the European Court of Justice, the highest court in the EU, issued its long awaited ruling in a case brought by Louis Vuitton, giving Google a huge victory, saying that”
“”Google has does not infringe on trademarks by allowing advertisers to purchase keywords corresponding to their competitors’ trademarks,”
Louis Vuitton and two other firms brought suit alleging that it infringed in its trademark by allowing online advertisers to buy search keywords identical to its trademarks.
The court went on to say however:
“Advertisers themselves, however, cannot, by using such keywords, arrange for Google to display ads which do not allow Internet users easily to establish from which undertaking the goods or services covered by the ad in question originate.”
“Google therefore may be liable for policing trademark infringements in advertising content on its site, but that is for the national court to decide.:
The French court asked the European Court of Justice to rule on whether European trademark law allows trademark owners to prevent Google from selling the right to specify their trademarks as search keywords.
The court also asked whether European e-commerce law shields Google from liability for unauthorized trademark use until it is notified by the company owning the trademark.
France’s highest court, the Cour de Cassation, will have the final say on the issue.
Google still faces 5 other pending cases at the European Court of Justice and at least 8 cases in the US.
I have never been able to reconcile in my little head how Google can be allowed to sell ads under a bang on trademark to the trademark holders competitors, yet if we own a domain, even a generic term like Haywood, that happens to be trademarked, we lose the domain if ads are showing for competitors of the trademark holder.
There seems to be a logical disconnect in the law when it comes to advertising on domain names and advertising on Google
Then again Google spends quite a bit more in lobbyists then the domain industry domain.