Interflora comes out of High Court smelling of roses in latest Google AdWords case

The UK High Court has held that the purchase by Marks & Spencer (M&S) of Google AdWords, which includes the Interflora trademark, infringes that trademark. The judgment demonstrates that, while the use of a third-party trademark for keyword advertising is not always unlawful, in certain circumstances (in particular where the trademark owner operates a network of independent businesses) the facts will give rise to a finding of trademark infringement.

In 2008, M&S purchased several of Interflora’s trademarked keywords and phrases as Google AdWords. This meant that any internet user who searched for ‘Interflora’ on Google would be presented, above or beside the (non-sponsored) so-called ‘natural’ results and links, with an advert and link for M&S’s online flower delivery service.

Following the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) judgment, the High Court was required to determine whether there had been infringement of Interflora’s trademarks by viewing the circumstances from the perspective of the ‘reasonably well-informed and attentive internet user’. The CJEU held that the test is whether these internet users would be unable (or would be able only with difficulty) to ascertain whether the services sold through M&S’s purchased AdWords originated from Interflora or a business linked to Interflora…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the DLA Piper briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from DLA Piper

View more briefings from DLA Piper

Analysis from The Lawyer

View more analysis from The Lawyer


3 Noble Street

Turnover (£m): 1,566.29
No. of lawyers: 3,961 (UK 200)
Jurisdiction: global
No. of offices: more than 75
No. of qualified lawyers: 542 (International 50)
No. of partners: 142.6