Keyword advertising from a German perspective

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By Katharina Reuer

A recent German case from December 2012 — ‘MOST-Pralinen’, concerning keyword advertising — shows the significant margin of appreciation national courts have to apply to European Court of Justice (CJEU) case law. 

In the MOST-Pralinen case, the defendant bid on the generic keyword ‘Pralinen’ using Google’s ‘broad match’ function. This function then added the word ‘MOST’, giving ‘MOST Pralinen’, with the result that the defendant’s advertisement displayed in response to searches for ‘MOST Pralinen’.

By asking this, the GFC has introduced a filter. Where the internet user would be aware that the claimant and the defendant were not connected but in competition, this knowledge may mean that the claimant’s trade mark is not adversely affected by the defendant’s activities…

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