Dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič on the Days of Slovenian Lawyers 2010

On 15 October, dr. Maja Bogataj Jančič held a lecture on the Days of Slovenian Lawyers 2010 in the section “Modern technologies in EU law: from the contracts to the gambling”. On the basis of the case Google France, Google Inc. v Louis Vuitton Malletier she presented the problem of misuse of trademarks on the Internet with the help of the advertising service Google AdWords and similar systems.

These systems enable to buy words on the search engine. Therefore, as the subscriber enters the word in the search engine, the advertisement of the subject who bought the word appears amongst the search results. The problem is when the word represents a protected trademark of some other subject. Words will usually be bought by providers of concurrent products or services or by sellers of counterfeit products.

Google won in the above mentioned case. The Court of Justice of the EU said that Google can sell words that are identical to trademarks as long as it removes them if it becomes aware of the illegality of the data or the circumstances. Google does not enjoy full immunity as it can be found guilty if it turns out that it encourages trademark infringements.

In the lecture, the author provided a fundamental analysis of such advertising systems from the point of view of intellectual property law and foresaw the effects of the judgement on their further development.