Cos. Can Use Rivals' Marks As Web Ad Keywords: EU Court

Law360, New York (September 22, 2011, 2:19 PM EDT) -- The European Union’s highest court ruled Thursday that companies can use competitors’ trademarks as keywords for online search ads so long as they don’t undermine or unfairly free-ride on the mark, in a dispute over Marks & Spencer PLC’s use of Interflora Inc.’s marks.

In an advisory ruling to the U.K.'s High Court of Justice, the European Court of Justice emphasized its 2010 ruling in a dispute over Google Inc.'s Adwords service that the mere use of another company's trademark as a search keyword does not...
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