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Google v. Louis Vuitton. Case Overview. Louis Vuitton , which is part of the LVMH group of brands including Moet & Chandon and Dior, had argued that Google was acting illegally by allowing other companies to bid for and use its brand names as keywords to trigger ads on its website.
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Case Overview • Louis Vuitton, which is part of the LVMH group of brands including Moet & Chandon and Dior, had argued that Google was acting illegally by allowing other companies to bid for and use its brand names as keywords to trigger ads on its website. • Google believes that user interest is best served by maximizing the choice of keywords, ensuring relevant and informative advertising for a wide variety of different contexts.
The Arguments Louis Vuitton’s Arguments: • Google has infringed trademark laws by using Louis Vuitton’s brand names as keywords to trigger ads on its website. • Allowing Google to sell the brand names in combination with words like copy or imitation increases the selling of counterfeit or fake designer goods. Google’s Arguments: • Google said it has not infringed trademark laws letting advertisers purchase these keywords.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has made it plain that Google should not be held liable for trademark misuse, adding that its AdWords system is an "information society service" under the terms of EU law. Crucially, this means Google does not have to monitor everything that goes on in AdWords, it must merely react swiftly when a trademark owner notifies it of any infringement. Court’s Decision
Implications Google can continue selling these brand names as keyword triggers for ads on the website. However, the companies that use these brand name keywords in their online advertising campaigns, and who do not make it plain that they do not have any commercial link with the brand owner can still be sued by the trademark's rightful owner.
The court proceedings can be found at: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=78936&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=236561
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