Louis Vuitton triumphs over Google in Paris court

Louis Vuitton has claimed a fresh legal victory over Google after the internet search group failed to overturn a trademark ruling against it. Louis Vuitton, the luxury goods manufacturer, won another round in its court battle with the search engine Google to eliminate online ads of competitors or counterfeiters that show up in searches for the well-known French brand. Under the Google system, companies can pay to be associated with certain search words even if the trademarks belong to someone else. An automated tool for Google advertisers advises which keywords to choose in connection with a brand. Topping the list for Louis Vuitton are handbag and purse knock-offs.

Google’s search results allowed merchants who sold counterfeit Vuitton goods to appear along with legitimate vendors, according to Vuitton. The court has increased the damages; Google is ordered to pay from $254,500 (€200,000) to $381,900 (€300,000), plus legal costs. The case is one of several legal battles over trademark protection lodged against Google. The consequence is that Google will have to put a system in place to find a global solution for its sites.

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