The New York Times is reporting that Louis Vuitton & Google will have a hearing over Google’s keyword advertising system.
Fashion retailer Louis Vuitton won a lawsuit in France over Google’s AdWords system, where advertisers bid for keywords. The keywords are used to place ads related to a person’s search terms using Google’s search engine or in Web pages with similar content.
AdWords suggests variations of certain keywords to advertisers when they are using the company’s interface. Louis Vuitton said the search engine offers terms such as “Louis Vuitton fakes” and “Louis Vuitton replicas,” according to Pinsent Masons, which runs the Out-law.com legal blog.
Louis Vuitton alleges the suggestions amount to violation of its trademarks, since Google is essentially selling the marks to which it doesn’t not have the right or the consent of brand owner, said Iain Connor, an intellectual property litigator with Pinsent Masons
France’s highest court ruled in favor of Louis Vuitton. Google appealed, and the case will go to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg. The ECJ will make a ruling, which the French court must accept, Connor said. No date for the case has been scheduled, and it could be as long as a year before the ECJ makes a ruling.