In a high profile European Union trade mark rights case between search giant Google and fashion world giant Louis Vuitton (LVMH), both litigants have claimed victory after the European Court of Justice announced its ruling yesterday.
In September last year, legal opinion given by a top legal advisor in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) went in favour of the internet giant, when advocate general Poiares Maduro, adviser to the EU's top court, the ECJ, said that in his opinion, "Google has not infringed trade mark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trade marks.(See: Google wins first round in trademarks battle against Louis Vuitton).
The Mountain View, California-based Google said in a blog post yesterday that the European Union's highest court ruled, ''Google has not infringed trade mark law by allowing advertisers to bid for keywords corresponding to their competitors' trade marks.''
Writing in Google's official blogpost, Dr Harjinder Obhi, senior litigation counsel for the internet giant added that the court also confirmed that the European law protects internet hosting services applies to Google's AdWords advertising system, a ruling, which protects critical revenue generation for Google.
The ruling follows a lawsuit brought in 2003 by LVMH, a maker of high-end leather goods, perfumes and other fashion and luxury products, which said that Google promoted the sale of counterfeit goods on the internet since ads sold by it, infringed its registered trademarks as Google did not take the consent of the trademark owner.
When a user types ''Louis Vuitton'' on Google search engine, the search results throw up ''Designer Handbags with 70 per cent off.'' But those handbags are fakes, which forced LVMH to file the case against Google.