The European Court of Justice’s Advocate General Maduro is reported to support Google in the high level court case of LVMH over trademark infringement. This would be a big win for Google, and in my opinion for Internet users as well. I am looking forward to reading the actual opinion, which should become available later today. Reuters reports:
“Advocate General Poiares Maduro considers that Google has not infringed trade mark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trade marks,” the European Court of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday.
Maduro said in his opinion that the use of the trade marks was limited to the selection of keywords, which concerned only Google and the advertisers.
“When selecting keywords, there is thus no product or service sold to the general public. Such a use cannot therefore be considered as being a use made in relation to goods or services covered by the trade marks,” he said.
He added that Internet users’ access to information concerning a trade mark should not be limited by the owner.
“In effect, the mere display of relevant sites in response to keywords is not enough to establish a risk of confusion on the part of consumers as to the origin of goods or services,” Maduro said.
UPDATE: A link to and a discussion of the opinion can be found here.