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Louis Vuitton loses Google battle

Google has won its long-running legal battle with luxury brand Louis Vuitton over the use of its Adwords service.

Louis Vuitton parent company, the luxury goods group LVMH, had claimed that Google was profiting from selling brand-name keywords to discount retailers resulting in its brands’ reputation being tarnished.

However the European Court of Justice ruled that in selling the rights to sponsored searches using brand names, including Louis Vuitton, to rival companies, Google had not infringed trademark laws.

Michael Gardner, a partner at law firm Wedlake Bell said: “Google have dodged the bullet on this one. Adwords is a key money earner for them so this is a big legal victory.”

He added: “Advertisers who do use other people’s brand names as part of their search engine strategy are still potentially in the firing line.”  

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