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Google AdWords and Copyrights in Europe

Home > Intellectual Property in France | Published 2010-12-15

Our French and American IP attorneys are always up to date regarding any and all legal evolutions unfolding in the field of intellectual property.

The Court of Justice (ECJ) has recently made (March 23, 2010) a decision that significantly limits the rights of trademark owners in relation to online search engines.

Until this decision, it was possible for a company fearing infringement action from search engines, including Google, to block the purchase of his name by others.

This problem was then resolved and the terms of the constituent brands could be purchased as a keyword for advertising, particularly in the context of the Google AdWords. This is the direct result of the ECJ’s decision, which in essence affirmed that Google utilized only "stock" keywords of third parties for advertising purposes and did not operate directly with specific names distinctive to their production. This was meant to absolve Google of any potential denunciations or accusations of counterfeiting.

However, trademark owners are not powerless in stopping the usurpation of their securities on Google AdWords; therefore, the consequences of the decision of the ECJ must be afforded utmost attention.

Indeed, any litigation regarding intellectual property infringement, unfair competition, or parasitism relates directly to advertisers who may unduly accept the wrongful purchase of keywords of constituent brands.

In addition, the obligations of common law in certain cases can be brought against search engines via jurisprudence that accurately tracks changes in verbiage.

When properly handled, these general legal principles typically result in viable solutions for all parties involved.

This article is available online for public information purposes. It is updated regularly, as needed. Due to the constant evolution of the laws and the legal system, we cannot guarantee that the information in this article is still applicable. We invite you to contact us with any legal questions or concerns you have regarding this topic at +33 1 56 79 11 00. In no way can this firm be held liable for articles that contain inaccuracies or are now out of date.

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