Update on Interflora vs Marks & Spencer AdWords trademark row

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  • September 2, 2009

Everybody is keeping a close eye on the Interflora vs Marks & Spencer case which we first covered back in December. Unlike a lot of other similar cases this one will probably go the distance simply because of the brands involved.

The latest update has a screenshot which shows M&S are still bidding on the Interflora keyword – there are no other PPC ads showing for me which indicates nobody else wants to get involved.

Interflora vs Marks & Spencers

If this case goes the distance the implications for brand bidding could be quite significant.

The High Court in London has decided that the law is not settled on whether brand bidding on a competitor’s brand is lawful and has referred certain questions to the European Court of Justice for determination. This clearly goes against Marks and Spencer’s position that the practice is “not unlawful”. The High Court has denied Marks & Spencer permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal in respect of the nature of the questions referred to the European Court of Justice.

In his judgement, Mr Justice Arnold commented that Google’s decision to operate a different policy in the UK and Ireland to that in the rest of Europe is “fairly remarkable given that the relevant law is, or should be, essentially the same throughout Europe.”

Patrick Altoft

About Patrick Altoft

Patrick is the Director of Strategy at Branded3 and has spent the last 11 years working on the SEO strategies of some of the UK's largest brands. Patrick’s SEO knowledge and experience is highly regarded by many, and he’s regularly invited to speak at the world’s biggest search conferences and events.

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