Google keywords “not infringement” says ECJ Advocate General
The ECJ’s Advocate General has said that Google has not committed a trade mark infringement by allowing advertisers to select, in AdWords, keywords corresponding to trade marks.
In his Opinion, Advocate General Poiares Maduro stresses that the use of the trade marks is limited to the selection of keywords, which are internal to AdWords and concern only Google and the advertisers. When selecting keywords, there is thus no product or service sold to the general public. Such a use cannot therefore be considered as being a use made in relation to goods or services identical or similar to those covered by the trade marks.
However, the Advocate General says that while “neutrally-generated” search results may be exempt from liability, this is not the case with Adwords where Google has a direct pecuniary interest in Internet users clicking on the ads' links.