PARIS — LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton had no comment Wednesday on Google Inc.’s new policy in Europe that allows advertisers to select trademarked terms as keywords for online searches.
This story first appeared in the August 5, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The change is effective Sept. 14 and brings Europe into line with the Internet giant’s practice in most other countries.
Google said a March ruling by the European Court of Justice cleared the way for the change.
Both LVMH and Google claimed victory when the high court said Google did not violate trademark laws with its AdWords service, in which companies bid to have “sponsored links” appear alongside Internet search results. The court also said advertisers who buy such keywords must make clear where the goods they are selling originate.
The French luxury giant is now hoping the Paris Court of Appeals, to which the case was recently referred, will have jurisdiction to allow it to seek recourse under civil law.
Google noted Wednesday that if a trademark owner feels that a third-party ad in Europe confuses users as to the origin of the advertised goods and services, it can file a complaint with Google. In that instance, if “Google agrees that the specific ad in question confuses users about the origin of the goods and services being advertised, the ad will be taken down,” Google said.
Google, owner of the most-used Internet search engine, and LVMH have been fighting in France since 2003 over Internet searches linked to trademark names.