Google Adwords Wins and Expands

Robert J. Kenney & Katherine M. Peden for World Intellectual Property Review

In the past week, trademark owners have suffered two set-backs in the fight against infringing uses of their marks on the Internet—one in Europe and one in the US. Google announced on August 4 that it will expand its AdWords program in Europe to allow the purchase of third-party trademarks for use as keyword triggers for ‘Sponsored Link’ advertisements. This expansion will go into effect on September 14, 2010, and will bring the European policy in line with that already in place in the US, Canada, the UK and elsewhere. Google continues to expand its AdWords program as it receives legal cover in a particular region—in this case from the European Court of Justice’s March decision against Louis Vuitton. More troublesome for trademark owners is that this announcement comes on the heels of the Eastern District of Virginia’s opinion issued on August 3 in connection with the April dismissal of Rosetta Stone’s case against Google.

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