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Search engines liable for allowing advertisers to use protected terms in text ads?

The civil court in Nanterre fined Google 75,000 euros for allowing advertisers to link text internet advertisements to trademarked search terms and gave the company 30 days to stop the practice. In the trademark case, the owner of the name "Bourse des vols" (Market for Flights) wanted Google to stop allowing competitors to include "Bourse des vols" as a term that would generate an advertisement and link to their own site. Google said it would appeal the decision.


Louis Vuitton also is suing Google and its French subsidiary for trademark infringement. Lawyers for Google and Vuitton  are to attend a preliminary hearing in Paris on November 3. 


  • October 28: Louis Vuitton verklagt Google, Heise: 
    "Der französische Luxusgüter-Hersteller Louis Vuitton hat die Betreiber der Suchmaschine Google auf Schadenersatz verklagt, weil sie dessen Markenrechte durch die Platzierung von Werbebotschaften neben Trefferlisten verletzt haben sollen."

  • October 24, 2003: Frost, Laurence, Louis Vuitton sues Google for alleged trademark infringement online, Mercury News:
    "Google and its French subsidiary are facing another trademark challenge in the wake of a landmark ruling that could force the popular Internet search engine to change how it sells advertising."     

  • October 24, 2003: Handbag maker Vuitton sues Google, CNN:
    "Louis Vuitton SA is suing Google and its French subsidiary for trademark infringement in the wake of a landmark ruling that could force the popular Internet search engine to change the way it sells advertising."

  • October 20, 2003: Google muss 75.000 Euro wegen Einblendung von Textwerbung zahlen, Institut für Urheber- und Medienrecht:
    "Die Eingabe von Adwords, die gleichzeitig Markennamen sind, darf nicht zur Auflistung von Textwerbung führen, die den geschützten Begriff enthält."

  • October 19, 2003: "Adwords" bei Google dürfen nicht auf fremde Werbung verweisen", Heise: 
    "In Frankreich hat ein Gericht entschieden, dass Suchworte bei Google, die gleichzeitig Markennamen sind, nicht mehr auf Links von Konkurrenten verweisen dürfen, die diese Markennamen in ihre Werbung einbauen."

  • October 18, 2003: Noble, Christopher, Google fined in trademark case, Yahoo News:
    "A French court has ruled against Internet search powerhouse Google in an intellectual property rights case that could have far reaching technological and financial implications for Web search firms, who process tens of millions of queries a day."



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