Buying Brand Keywords Through Google Legal in EU

By Matt Van Hoven 

A European court has ruled in favor of Google regarding a lawsuit brought on by the Louis Vuitton company. LV complained that Google was permitting copyright infringement by selling brand keywords (ie theirs) to knock-off competitors.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The court held that the search giant is merely a host for ads and that it is an advertiser’s responsibility to make clear if its product is different from that searched for.”

However, Google is responsible for ads that are potentially confusing, the court found. This and the above mentioned ruling apply to all 27 European Union countries, and sets a risky precedent for brands that aren’t monitoring their competitors online. Cue advice about paying for SEO, which eMarketer reported recently is only 10% of all online spends.


The news comes as a blow for Louis Vuitton which is also suing
Hyundai for flashing what appears to be a LV logo in this Super Bowl spot. The company is seeking legal fees, damages and profits from the commercial. Good luck with that.

More:Annie Leibowitz Shoots Louis Vuitton