Thursday, March 25, 2010

Keywords at the ECJ again -- but this time Google's not a party

From the excellent IPKat:
"The IPKat has just taken a look at Case C-278/08 Die BergSpechte Outdoor Reisen und Alpinschule Edi Koblmüller GmbH v Günter Guni and Reisen GmbH,...
It's another AdWords case, involving Google's "paid referencing service" which enables any economic operator, by means of the reservation of a keyword, to place a link to its own advertisement which is flagged as a "sponsored link", when the user of its search engine employs that keywords as a search term, in addition to the "natural results" of the search which the user gets irrespective of whether the keyword is an AdWord...
This morning the Court of Justice ruled as follows:
"Article 5(1) ... must be interpreted as meaning that the proprietor of a trade mark is entitled to prohibit an advertiser from advertising, on the basis of a keyword identical with or similar to that trade mark which that advertiser has, without the consent of that proprietor, selected in connection with an internet referencing service, goods or services identical with those for which that mark is registered, in the case where that advertising does not enable an average internet user, or enables that user only with difficulty, to ascertain whether the goods or services referred to therein originate from the proprietor of the trade mark or by an undertaking which is economically connected to it or, on the contrary, originate from a third party".
This ruling relates only to the first referred question since the Court concluded that an answer the second would not be useful for resolving the underlying dispute. The Court's position here is unsurprising in light of Tuesday's ruling in Google (see here and here), which it cites as authority. Indeed, if you think you might be suffering from déjà vu, you might note the similarity between the paragraph above and the first paragraph of the Court's Google ruling."

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