An adviser to the European Union's top court backed Google in a row with luxury goods maker LVMH over Internet advertising, saying the Web search firm had not infringed trade mark rights. The case centers on whether Google has the right to sell brand names for Internet search advertising -- a money-spinner for the group.
LVMH's Louis Vuitton fashion brand and others have been fighting such advertising after makers of imitation products piggybacked on those brands in online searches to attract customers.
But the European Court of Justice said on Tuesday that Advocate General Poiares Maduro "considers that Google has not infringed trade mark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trade marks."
The article goes on to make it clear that TM holders will still have a remedy for the egregious case. The court said trademark holders would have to prove there were specific facts
"giving rise to Google's liability in the context of illegal damage to their trade marks," . . .
In other words, Google may still be accountable for being a party to fraudulent or illicit activity, i.e., assisting - for a fee - in the sale of TM infringing imitations or knock-offs, and profiting therefrom, profits/income no doubt paid from the moneys generated by the illicit activity.
A solution that's not too out of balance with a sense of equity and fairness.
Makes great deal of sense .. Allows grey market sales of genuine goods to be advertised .. Breaks the monopoly of so called luxury goods makers and hits their vastly over priced items ( frequently just branded tat ..and their regional pricing policy ( hope this also gets extended to pre recorded DVD's etc... region free puhleeeese ) Provides redress against fakes ..
What is not to like ..
Disclosure ..in a previous life :))I was a genuine goods grey market trader , perfumes , LVMH , 501's , cosmetics ..and even coca cola ( us Europeans in licensed bottling and canning still made old coke ..used to sell truckloads of "Original" formula bottles and cans back to the USA ..sourced straight out of official coke plants in Europe ) ..501's came the other way ( European prices were 5 times USA ) ..french luxury goods and cosmetics to Japan via Hong Kong ..swatch to anywhere and every where ..And official Harley branded goods were 5 times cheaper in USA at wholesale than in France ..moved lots of those too ...always real goods..never fakes ( confirmed by customs authorities ..every shipment )..just reranched ..legally ..only the brand owners and their "local exclusive retailers" were unhappy ..
These laws stick ..I might just start up again ;))
Not at all you can buy genuine articles ..eg 501's at retail in the USA in lots of 100 and ship them to Europe and resell at wholesale 3 times higher than you paid ( and still beat levi's local wholesale prices )..or via your website at 4 times your cost "deep discount retail"..and not even have to pay the retail floor space ..( do it from your dorm or garage ) outlay less than $1500.oo ..deductions including shipping customs etc less than $500.oo
your pre tax profit if you sell all $4000.oo
works for many other items ..in many other directions ..takes imagination and some initial smarts, research and effort ..rinse and repeat ..
The more I think about this decision the more I like it ..:))