Google wins Louis Vuitton trademark case

  • 1
  • March 23, 2010
Patrick Altoft

Patrick Altoft

Director of Strategy

Good news today for those of you who own shares in Google, the European Court has ruled that Google isn’t infringing trademark law by allowing brand bidding.

The case, which is bad news for brands that are in a continual battle with sites selling counterfeit goods, has been going on for quite some time and I don’t think many people really though Google would lose.

“Google has not infringed trademark law by allowing advertisers to purchase keywords corresponding to their competitors’ trademarks,” the ruling found.
LVMH said that the ruling clarified the rules of online advertising.
“We want to work with all the players, including Google, to eradicate illegal practices online,” said LVMH vice-president Pierre Code.

Google also has a blog post up about the case:

We believe that user interest is best served by maximizing the choice of keywords, ensuring relevant and informative advertising for a wide variety of different contexts. For instance, if a user is searching for information about a particular car, he or she will want more than just that car’s website. They might be looking for different dealers that sell that car, second hand cars, reviews about the car or looking for information about other cars in the same category.

And, contrary to what some are intimating, this case is not about us arguing for a right to advertise counterfeit goods. We have strict policies that forbid the advertising of counterfeit goods; it’s a bad user experience. We work collaboratively with brand owners to better identify and deal with counterfeiters.