Accepted grounds of action against GOOGLE (AdWords)

On May 11, 2011, the Court of Appeal of Paris upheld the liability of Google Inc. could be enforced (together or not with the liability of the advertiser), under the grounds of unfair competition, misleading advertising and illegal comparative advertising.

The Court actually confirmed the findings of that Trade Court had first ruled, including the allowance of 100.000 € as damages. The Court of Appeal only excluded the liability of Google France because is hold by Google Inc (which liability was thus maintained).

In this mater French company Cobrasson sued Google companies and Home Cine Solutions which website was displayed together with the wording ‘pourquoi payer plus cher’ (i.e. ‘why do you want to pay more?’) when a search was on made on Ggoogle for the word ‘Cobrasson’. Holme Cine Solutions actually was one of the direct competitors of Cobrasson.

With the uncertainty resulting from the CJEC rulings of March 2010 on how to enforce one’s rights against Google out of trademark infringement, the decision offers alternative grounds to be considered including for trademark owners.

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