Google can claim to have won the first round in a long-drawn legal battle against Louis Vuitton and other well known brands yesterday, when a legal opinion given by a top legal advisor in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) went in favour of the internet giant.
Advocate general Poiares Maduro, adviser to the EU's top court, the ECJ, said that in his opinion, "Google has not infringed trade mark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trade marks."
However, the non-binding opinion of Maduro, will not deter Louis Vuitton and other brands from taking the issue to national courts, said the Advocate General.
But although his opinion is non-binding, European courts generally tend to follow the opinion given by the Advocate General.
Google was hauled to a French court by luxury goods giant Louis Vuitton and many well known brands companies, for infringing on their trademark rights by allowing advertisers to buy search keywords corresponding to those trademarks on Google's search engine.
Louis Vuitton says that Google's practice of allowing advertisers to use company trademarks as keywords violates its trademark rights as many less well-known brand name or unbranded name appears under the title "sponsored links" next to the well-known brands and these advertisers use their brand name to sell fake or counterfeit versions of their goods.