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AdWords Lawsuits in the Netherlands

Latest News: The Dutch Supreme Court sent an AdWords case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). With more than 20 questions on the subject, the court wants to know everything from the ECJ he can possibly say about adwords. For an English translation of the questions see: Portakabin vs. Primakabin: Dutch Supreme Court sends Adword case to ECJ, Class 46


Dutch Court explicitly allowes Google to continue broad matching

According to the Amsterdam District Court, Google's practice of broadmatching does not raise any trademark concerns where an advertisement is triggered by a non-trademarked term (i.e. date) even though the search query contains a trademarked term (here: farm date).

Endless Webdesign is the owner of the word mark "Farm Date" and demanded that Google remove the sponsored hyperlinks that appear when search terms "farm date" and "farm-date" are used. Google succesfully argued that most of the objected advertisements were shown based on the adword "date". The court ruled that Google didn't infringe plaintiffs trademark by offering this adword.

So the court explicitly allowed Google to continue broad matching. Google's own Complaint Procedure for trademark rights outside the USA and Canada reads:

"Furthermore, please be aware that we do not take any action in situations where an advertisement is being triggered by non-trademarked terms even though the search query contains a trademarked term. This stems from the fact that Google allows advertisers to use a broad matching system to target their ads. For example, if an advertiser has selected the keyword shoes , that advertiser's ad will appear when a user enters the word "shoes" as a search query, regardless of other search terms that may be used. So, the ad would show if the user entered any of the following search queries: "tennis shoes," "red shoes," or "Nike shoes." This system eliminates the need for the advertiser to specify individually the many different search query combinations that are relevant to their ad."

Amsterdam District Court, Decision of August 24, 2006, Endless Webdesign v. Google Netherlands B.V.


Other verdicts on the use of Google ‘adwords’ in the Netherlands:

On November 12, 2004 the District Court of The Hague held that Yiggers' use of the AdWord "Pretium" (trademark and trade name of its competitor) is an infringement on Pretium's intellectual property rights. Google did not join these proceedings.

  • District Court The Hague, November 12, 2004, Computerrecht 2005, 7 (Pretium - Yiggers)


According to the Amsterdam Court of Appeal (Portakabin v. Primakabin, Decision of December 14, 2006) advertisers are allowed to use a trademark as keyword, at least when

- the use is in connection with the resale of the relevant branded product and

- the link in the ad leads directly to the subpage on which the branded products are offered for sale, and not to the homepage.





Lawsuits in France

Lawsuits in the USA

Lawsuits in Germany

Lawsuits in the Netherlands

Lawsuits in the U.K.

Lawsuits in Australia


Search Engine Law Overview



Latest News - Update 71

Legal trouble for YouTube in Germany

Germany: Employer may google job applicant

EU: Consultation on the E-Commerce-Directive

WIPO Paper on tradmarks and the internet

The ECJ and the AdWords Cases




























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