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12 July 2011

eBay says it “can live with” today’s major ECJ judgment

Online marketplace eBay has said it “can live with” today’s judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in the ongoing litigation brought against it by L’Oréal. eBay told WTR that it was hoping for more clarity on a number of points, but that the ruling in general reflects “what eBay already does” with regard to stopping the sale of counterfeits on its platform.

28 March 2011

Mixed bouquet for M&S as AG gives opinion on keyword advertising

In Interflora Inc v Marks & Spencer plc, the advocate general has stated that advertisers should be able to "bid" on competitors' famous trademarks in search engine keyword advertising in order to present themselves as a commercial alternative. However, plaintiff Interflora may well ultimately prevail as a result of its unique circumstances.

24 March 2011

Trademark owners can fight keywords advertisers, says advocate general

The latest opinion on keywords advertising could, if followed by the European court, have a significant impact on Google’s advertising model. The advocate general’s opinion in Interflora v M&S advises that a trademark owner can take action against an advertiser who attempts to benefit from the attractive force of the proprietor’s mark. This is the first time that such a high court has opined on a dispute between a trademark owner and advertiser, rather than examining Google’s role – but it could deter advertisers from bidding on others’ trademarks.

14 December 2010

eBay may be liable for trademark infringement by its customers

In L’Oréal SA v eBay International AG, Advocate General Jääskinen has suggested that eBay was not liable for the trademark infringements of its customers, but that it could become so if it failed to take further action once notified. He also stated that injunctions were available against eBay in relation to repeated or continued infringements featuring the same user and the same trademark.

19 July 2010

Circumstances in which resellers can use third-party mark as keyword outlined

In Portakabin Ltd v Primakabin BV, the ECJ has provided guidance on the use of third-party trademarks as keywords to advertise websites selling genuine goods under the marks. Among other things, the ECJ held that the national courts must find that there is a legitimate reason to oppose use of the mark where the reseller has removed the mark from genuine goods and replaced it with its own label.

15 June 2010

Common sense prevails in '.eu' domain name case

The ECJ has issued its decision in Internetportal und Marketing GmbH v Schlicht, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Oberster Gerichtshof. Internetportal und Marketing GmbH had registered 33 generic terms as trademarks, each incorporating the special character ‘&’ before and after each letter, in order to be eligible to apply to register the corresponding '.eu' domain names during the first part of phased registration.

06 April 2010

Another keywords decision is issued - but this time Google is not a party

In Die BergSpechte Outdoor Reisen und Alpinschule Edi Koblmüller GmbH v Guni, a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Oberster Gerichtshof (Austria), the ECJ has considered more questions relating to Google's AdWords. The ECJ's position was unsurprising in light of its ruling in Google, which was issued only two days earlier.

01 April 2010

Google's use of trademarks as keywords does not constitute infringement

In a highly anticipated decision, the ECJ has held that Google's AdWords system does not breach EU trademark law. Among other things, the ECJ found that the storage of signs identical to trademarks as keywords does not represent use of the marks in the course of trade. However, trademark owners are entitled to prohibit advertisers from using such signs.

23 March 2010

Google: the cost of online trademark protection will skyrocket

Trademark owners' costs have just shot through the roof, with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union in the joined Google keywords cases placing a heavy strain on mark holders' budgets.

23 March 2010

Google victorious in landmark ECJ keywords decision

Google has won the battle to protect its business model of selling trademark terms as keywords. The Court of Justice of the European Union has today published its hotly anticipated decision in the joined cases against Google, in which several powerful brand owners claimed that the search engine's sale of trademark terms as keywords infringed their rights. The court found for Google.

22 March 2010

Europe expects clarification on Google keywords issue

Practitioners are awaiting the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union on whether Google's business model of selling adverts based on trademark terms constitutes infringement.

24 February 2010

'Crafty' domain name and mark owner chastised in AG opinion

Advocate General Trstenjak has issued her opinion in Internetportal und Marketing GmbH v Schlicht. This case, referred to the ECJ by the Oberster Gerichtshof, Austria, turned on a little-known provision of EU law: Article 11 of Commission Regulation 874/2004 on the implementation of the '.eu' regime.

22 September 2009

Google gains early advantage in key European AdWords case

The advocate general of Europe's highest court today gave his backing to Google's controversial AdWords system, which allows advertisers to purchase third-party trademarks as keywords to trigger sponsored links in search results.

23 June 2009

Quick off the MARQUES: new chair sets out his agenda

It is a challenging time for trademarks: a financial crisis is cutting into IP teams' budgets, legislative harmonization is increasingly strained and the expansion of the domain name system could expose trademark owners to countless infringements. WTR caught up with Guido Baumgartner, chair of MARQUES, to hear what the organization is doing on behalf of trademark owners.

22 February 2009

European Union

The selection of a pharmaceutical trademark is increasingly complex given the size of the pharmaceutical market, the burgeoning number of pharmaceutical trademarks and the increasing number of languages in which those trademarks are registered.