Google has not infringed trade mark law

Today, the Court confirmed that Google has not infringed trade mark law by allowing advertisers to bid for keywords corresponding to their competitors’ trade marks. It also confirmed that European law that protects internet hosting services applies to Google’s AdWords advertising system.

The question before the court was whether advertisers should be allowed to choose keywords freely when reaching out to users on the Internet. In other words, if advertisers are allowed to show advertisements when another company’s brand name is entered as a search query.

Google believes that user interest is best served by maximizing the choice of keywords, ensuring relevant and informative advertising for a wide variety of different contexts.

Some companies want to limit choice for users by extending trade mark law to encompass the use of keywords in online advertising. Ultimately they want to be able to exercise greater control over the infomation available to users by preventing other companies from advertising when a user enters their trade mark as a search query.

Google said that this is an important decision because it is a fundamental principle behind the free flow of information over the internet.

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