SEARCH SUIT: The appeals court in Paris on Wednesday upheld a district court decision last year that ordered Google and its French subsidiary to pay Louis Vuitton 200,000 euros, or $250,000, for misleading advertising, unfair competition and trademark counterfeiting. In a release, Vuitton said the appeals court increased the damages to 300,000 euros, or $375,000, and also ordered Google to pay for announcements of the decision in four newspapers and online. Vuitton took issue with Google’s ability to link the Vuitton name to ads sold to third parties, particularly Web sites selling counterfeit leather goods. A Google spokeswoman said: “This is an old AdWords (a pay-per-click advertising program) case — and none of the issues apply today. We have a trademark policy — which prevents bids on other people’s registered trademarks — and we do not allow people to advertise with AdWords for counterfeit products.”

TIFFANY’S RATTLE PENALTY: Tiffany & Co. agreed to pay a $262,500 civil fine to settle allegations that it did not report a safety hazard posed by its Farm Teether Rattle in a timely manner to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Tiffany stopped selling the $150 rattle in March 2004 and recalled about 3,700 of them the following February, but denied that it violated the Consumer Product Safety Act. The commission said the company received at least three reports of defective joints on the rattles from November 2003 through February 2004. There were no reports of injuries, though the commission determined that the rattle’s small beads and animal figures posed a choking and aspiration hazard to babies.

This story first appeared in the June 29, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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