Google acquitted in French trademark dispute

On 13 July 2010, the French Cour de Cassation (French Court of Cassation) quashed a ruling of the Court of Appeal in Paris which held that Google breached trademark rules by allowing advertisers to use terms similar to those owned by brand-owners such as LVMH when advertising counterfeit goods through AdWords via its search engine’s website.

The French Court of Cassation judgment, which was partially based on a preliminary (i.e. interpretative) ruling by the European Court of Justice (see Newsletter 2/2010 p. 7), held that Google has not infringed trade-mark law by allowing advertisers to bid for keywords corresponding to their competitors’ trademarks.

The Court of Appeal in Paris will have to rule again on the merits of the case. [Gabriele Accardo]