On February 16th Advocate General Pedro Cruz Villalón has published his opinion on C-523/10 Wintersteiger, a case concerning a jurisdictional matters referred by the Austria Supreme Court [OGH, 5.10.2010 17 OB 8/10s, Wintersteiger].
Just about two month later, on the 19 of April 2012, the ECJ issued its decision on this reference for a preliminary ruling.
The court found that Google AdWords TM-disputes “may be brought before either the courts of the Member State in which the trade mark is registered or the courts of the Member State of the place of establishment of the advertiser”.
What makes the case so delicate is that Austria (place in which the TM is registered) is, in regard to Keyword Advertising cases, the most right holder friendly court in the EU [OGH, 21.06.2010, 17 Ob 3/10f, BergSpechte III], while Germany (member state of the establishment of the advertiser) is fairly liberal on this matter [BGH, 13.01. 2011, Az.: I ZR 125/07, Eis.de].
We are left to see how this decision will increase legal certainty for right holders, online advertisers and of course Google itself.
I’ve updated by little chart as well:
For a deeper analysis: IPKAT: Freedom, security and justice — or skiing with AdWords
Opinion by the GA:
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