French Appeal court Reversed Ruling in the Louis Vuitton vs Google Case

Google Ads is maybe the biggest online ad system, and it heavily relies on Google’s search engine to show ads to user, which are contextually connected to the search phrase. In such way ads are always more or less targeted to the right person for them. With the years the system has proven to be extremely effective, thanks to this targeting.

With all the care taken during the creation of Google Ads system, the technical side of the system is rarely a problem for anyone. Much more often problems arise in the field of intellectual property and commercial relations between third parties that sometimes feel their business interest is in some way hurt by Google Ads. As a matter of fact in most common case these are companies do not even use Google Ads, while their concurrent firms do.

Such was the case of Luis Vuitton’s owner – LVTM vs Google corporation. It was filed when officials from LVTM found that their concurrent company is using the trademark “Luis Vuitton” in Google Ads to advertise their own product. When the case was investigated, it was discovered that the policy of Google allows such use. There was no requirement for companies that wanted to advertise through Google Ads to prove they hold any rights over the trademark search keywords that are going to be used. This may lead to unpleasant misleads for the end user – when you search for “Luis Vuitton” for example, the contextual ad field may show you the ad of the concurrent company and you may be misled to believe the ad is published by the rights’ owner himself.

The case was brought to the court when Google refused to stop this practice, and the trial began. The first decision was against Google, and threatened to create big headache for the giant IT company, because all the contracts signed with advertisers should be checked and reconsidered, to avoid the danger of big financial sanctions. And having in mind that the decision of a French court would be a precedent for the whole EU, the case was serious.

The reversal

But few days ago the French appeal court decided to reverse the ruling of the lower instance, relieving Google’s lawyers.

This leads to some concerns for any big company around the world. IT departments may have to start a new race like the one for registering WWW addresses relevant to companies’ names which took place about a decade ago.

As the importance of online advertisement is growing to be more and more important by the day, this decision is also important to any business that wants to grow in the online environment, as it means a door is left open for new and fairly unknown companies to gain some popularity using older, well established names in their ad campaigns.

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