Google has apparently won the first leg of what appears to be a significant legal struggle against some of the world's most recognised luxury brands as a European Union court advisor said that the search engine did not violate their trademarks.
In an interim legal judgement, Google was not found guilty of breaking trademark rights by the European court of Justice because no products or services was being sold directly to the general public.
Advocate General Poiares Maduro said in a statement that "Google has not infringed trade mark rights by allowing advertisers to buy keywords corresponding to registered trademarks", something that French Luxury powerhouse LVMH strenuously opposes.
The fashion conglomerate claims that Google was intrinsically wrong to accept payments for the company's many brands in its adwords advertising system. Ironically, many of those keywords generated adverts that linked to fake LVMH products.
LVMH won a legal action in France and started to sue Google over trademark infringement since June 2008; the use of trademarks in Adwords acceptable in the US and any decisions in the EU doesn't cover the rest of the world.
Google derives significant revenue from what is essentially the name of other companies as well as trademarks and one could argue that intellectual property owners should get a cut of the profits.
But a quick look on Google Trends show that many of the world biggest brands attract a significant amount of traffic and Google could argue that if it cuts these brands of the internet, they could lose a very significant amount of revenues.