We previously wrote that the Second Circuit handed Google a defeat in its efforts to sell trademarks of competitors for its lucrative keyword advertising scheme. Apparently undeterred by that setback orongoing action with Louis Vuitton which is now in the European Court of Justice, we learn from our favorite blog on all things IP in the European world, IPKat, that Google announced that it will expand sales of keyword advertising (including the sale of a competitor’s trademarks) to 194 more countries.
The Internet World Club reports that the move to expand keyword advertising globally is not going to make Google many friends among the companies with stables of thoroughbred trademarks and will add new fuel to the Louis Vuitton case. The Vegas betting line is that Google will lose the action before the European Court of Justice which, according to IPKat, is expected to announce its decision on the same day that Google is expanding its keyword advertising scheme.
While I do not profess to hold a crystal ball of any renown, I can already envision IP lawyers from around the globe rejoicing and powering up their computers to prepare lawsuits against Google. Likewise, I suspect Google has received one or two phones calls and e-mails from IP defense counsel offering their services. Meanwhile, I suspect that Microsoft is enjoying a brief moment of respite from being the center of controversy. For the rest of us, we can watch what is sure to be some exciting clashes over the issue of keyword advertising.