Google AdWords Rapid Response Seminar

Does the sale and use of AdWords infringe the rights of brand owners who have registered those words as trade marks in Europe? We'll soon find out! Next Tuesday, 23 March the Court of Justice, the European Union's highest court, gives its ruling in Joined Cases C-236 to 238/08 Google France v (i) Louis Vuitton Malletier, (ii) Viaticum Lucetiel and (iii) CNRRH, three disputes arising from the sale and use of Google AdWords that have been referred to it by the French courts.

On 22 September the Advocate General, in an Opinion noted here by the IPKat, advised the Court to rule that (i) neither the offer of words for selection by purchasers (ii) nor the display of advertising in response to the use of a keyword corresponding to a trade mark as a search term constitute trade mark infringement, but that (iii) the fact that Google has a pecuniary interest in consumers' click-throughs on advertisements displayed in response to AdWord searches disqualifies Google from enjoying the benefit of the liability exemption for hosts provided in the E-Commerce Directive. Such Opinions are not binding, and this one has stirred up passionate comments both for and against, as well as dispassionate legal analysis.

On Thursday 25 March the IPKat weblog is holding its Google AdWords Rapid Response Seminar on the Court of Justice's keenly-awaited ruling. The faculty consists of IPKat team members Jeremy Phillips, Birgit Clark and Annsley Merelle Ward, who will be joined by Michael Edenborough -- who will be presenting the team's analysis of the new judgment. The team will explain the background to keywords, the reasoning behind the Advocate General's position, the Court's ruling itself, how it fits with current French and German thinking and its impact on US law and practice. The venue is the office of London-based solicitors Ashurst, 9 Appold Street. Registration is from 4.15pm and the seminar will run from 4.30pm to 6.30pm. Attendance at this seminar, which is free, attracts 2 accredited CPD points.

If you'd like to attend, email Jeremy here, giving your name and (if any) affiliation.

About the faculty

Michael Edenborough (Serle Court) is a barrister and an acknowledged expert in trade mark law. He has substantial experience of trade mark litigation in both the British and European courts. Last month he was appointed Queen's Counsel.

Dr Birgit Clark (Boult Wade Tennant), a German-qualified lawyer, has written extensively on IP issues in both English and German. She is a long-standing contributor to the Class 46 weblog of trade mark organisation MARQUES.

Annsley Merelle Ward (Gallant Macmillan) has a background in chemical engineering and studied intellectual property at postgraduate level under Sir Hugh Laddie at UCL before training as a solicitor. She is the author of the IPKat's popular and well-regarded AmeriKat column.

Dr Jeremy Phillips, Intellectual Property Consultant to Olswang LLP, is Research Director, the Intellectual Property Institute, and Professorial Fellow at the Queen Mary Intellectual Property Research Institute. Blogmeister of the IPKat and other weblogs, he writes for and edits a number of IP publications.
Google AdWords Rapid Response Seminar Google AdWords Rapid Response Seminar Reviewed by Jeremy on Tuesday, March 16, 2010 Rating: 5


  1. Hi everybody!

    I'd love to come but I will arrive in London only at the 26th... (HORR). Is there any chance that you will record the meeting or anything like that? I'd love to hear your ideas on the judgement.

    Or how about a second meeting on Sunday afternoon???

    Kind regards,


  2. How about recording events like this one and making the proceedings available as mp3s?

  3. IPKat should have its channel at or - recording and uploading is so easy and it would also prove that these websites are not facilitating copyright infringement. ;)


All comments must be moderated by a member of the IPKat team before they appear on the blog. Comments will not be allowed if the contravene the IPKat policy that readers' comments should not be obscene or defamatory; they should not consist of ad hominem attacks on members of the blog team or other comment-posters and they should make a constructive contribution to the discussion of the post on which they purport to comment.

It is also the IPKat policy that comments should not be made completely anonymously, and users should use a consistent name or pseudonym (which should not itself be defamatory or obscene, or that of another real person), either in the "identity" field, or at the beginning of the comment. Current practice is to, however, allow a limited number of comments that contravene this policy, provided that the comment has a high degree of relevance and the comment chain does not become too difficult to follow.

Learn more here:

Powered by Blogger.