*A Fine Piece Of Lobbying – Or – Why The European Parliament Is Suddenly Concerned About Keyword Advertising and TM-Rights

What is the connection between the booking of signs identical with a trademark as a keyword and the impact of advertising on consumer behaviour?

Pretty much none in my opinion. About a month a go I was surprised to find a passage about keyword advertising buried somewhere towards the end of an otherwise unexciting report by Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection:

Accordingly, the rapporteur proposes the following measures to protect consumers:

[...]

– modifying the limited liability regime for information society services in order to make the sale by search engines of registered brand names as advertising keywords subject to prior authorisation from the owner of the brand name in question (this applies, for example, to sites containing a keyword that redirects consumers to counterfeit sites) [p 11 , 12]

Things however got really interesting when I learnt that the European Parliament just one month later had already adopted the text of the report:

25. Calls on the Commission to explore the various means (whether legislative or not) and ascertain the technical options at European Union level to effectively implement the following measures:

– modify the limited liability regime for information society services in order to make the sale by search engines of registered brand names as advertising keywords subject to prior authorisation from the owner of the brand name in question;

What a splendid piece of lobbying ...

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