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Friday, March 18, 2005


GOOGLE LOSES FRENCH TRADEMARK APPEAL  

Google Loses French Trademark Appeal, Ordered to Pay $100,300 in Damages to Two Companies

This does not make any sense to me. Perhaps someone with a better sense of trademark law could explain the logic of the French court. I don't know why the plaintiff would complain if a google user is attempting to find his company through a search engine. To me, whatever Google wants to do with its own product is up to Google. The plaintiff's company's name is in the public realm and there is no indication that a person who is searching the name of the company is desiring to do business with the company, much less easilly swayed by a rival's advertisment.

I would like to see more of the court's reasoning on why they ruled against Google on this case.

PARIS (AP) -- A French appeals court upheld a ruling against Google's advertising policy in a decision published Wednesday, ordering the Internet search engine to pay euro75,000 (US$100,300) in damages to two companies whose trademarks it infringed.

The court in Versailles, west of Paris, found that Google Inc. was guilty of "trademark counterfeiting" and ordered it to pay the damages originally awarded to French travel companies Luteciel and Viaticum, as well as costs.

The companies' founder, Fabrice Dariot, filed the suit because Google users carrying out searches on the names of their registered trademarks including "Bourse des Vols" -- which means "Flights Marketplace" -- were offered ads for rival companies such as low-cost airline easyJet.

In October 2003, the lower court had ordered Google to stop showing rival 'sponsored links' in response to searches on Dariot's trademarks and later fined Google when it failed to comply in time.


Google Loses French Trademark Appeal

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