Google/Louis Vuitton legal battle resumes

See The Guardian

Google today entered the latest stage in a four-year legal battle against luxury brand Louis Vuitton which accuses the US internet giant of selling trademark search terms relating to its products to rivals.

Google's lawyers are at the European Court of Justice today as part of a hearing relating to an appeal the search company lodged after LVMH won a case in France against Google in 2005.

Comments

I think that this litigation (also reported in the Financial Review 19/09/09, page 19) reinvigorates the discussion we had in the lecture in relation to intermediary liability.

As a lawyer for Google was quoted: "Google makes money not by reason of the nature of the keyword. The decision to click or not to click belongs to who - clearly the internet user." Is an adsense account merely an invitation to treat? Puffery? Akin to bus-stop billboard advertising?

I can also see the arguments advanced by LV - Google searches for their brand and page, or bag, may lead to some less than reputable (read: knock-off) advertising, which may result in a loss of revenue.

Will the fallout of this, at the end of the day, require Google to be transparent and show how advertisers are utilising key-word searches?
i'm not quite sure about my idea, maybe LV want to eliminate the competitors

i always search for LV or Louis Vuitton in google USA, the original web page is always appeared on the top. and searchers can distinguish the original LV from the price. Interestingly, LV has never reduced the price of products.
some website reduced the price 30%-50% do you think that the original brand?
Elena Tsangari said…
When an internet user is searching for a particular company, the ability to have instant access to other companies that also offer similar services or goods is one of the key factors that makes the internet such an attractive research tool.

Companies should be forced to embrace healthy competition, not use the legal system to assist them in restricting the efficiency in which information is available online.

Further, particularly in respect of companies like LV, which offer such a high end product, it is ridiculous to say that a user’s ability to access information about fakes somehow affects the company’s revenue. People buying fake LV bags are unlikely to have actually been in a position to purchase a $1000 handbag online and then decided to buy the fake one once they saw the link.

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