Google trademark case on hold

A significant legal announcement expected this week on Google’s appeal against losing a trademark case in France has been postponed.

The advocate general of the European Court of Justice was due to deliver his opinion on the long-running Google/Louis Vuitton(LVMH) trademark dispute yesterday. However, the announcement has been postponed, with no new date set.

The luxury goods manufacturer won a case in France against the search giant in 2005 for trademark  infringement after it objected to Google AdWords selling LVMH trademarked brand names. Google appealed, with the French Supreme Court referring the case on to the European Court of Justice.

Lawyers for both sides presented their case to the court in March.

A spokesperson for the ECJ said there were a number of possible reasons for the delay, ranging from “not having the translations ready” to the case requiring more time.

The advocate general’s opinion however is not a decision as such. The spokesman explained the opinion was “internal legal advice” for the European Court of Justice judges, who would make the final decision based on the opinion.

The advocate general’s opinion is followed  by the judges “in the majority of cases” although they are not obliged to do so.

The spokesperson also said that the decision would be binding across all member states and that Google would not be able to appeal if the decision went against it.

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