This interesting news item reported by the CBC indicates that a legal opinion obtained in the course of a European Union proceeding, stated that Google Inc. does not violate luxury goods makers’ trademarks when it sells brand names as advertising keywords triggered by internet searches. How sweet it is. The $2500 purse lobby thinks that Google should police their valuable marks, i.e. determine whether a purse is a counterfeit or just your wife’s out of style but genuine article.

I have seen these guys in action; they object when anybody except their own stores and their licensed dealers sell their purses, etc., even though this “grey market” is perfectly legal. We saw them try this in two court cases Canada with Seiko watches and with Toblerone chocolate bars for example…I have also seen them come down hard on mom and pop stores that have a few articles for sale but are not “authorized dealers”, which you do not have to be to seel something in a free country…


The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games Organizing Committe (VANOC) has posted a “trademark infringement calculator” of sorts on its web site….Very strange, but it purports to demonstrate, with a “points system”, what will be considered trademark infringement and liable for enforcement, and what doesn’t. Of course VANOC gets to determine how many points to give someone, so this “calculator” isnt exactly a Texas Instruments model…..Scroll down a bit on their site to see the nice illustrations….I included one above from their web site (pursuant to the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act of Canada).

The interesting question is how come we haven’t heard of any ICANN UDRP domain name arbitration proceedings commenced against purported Olympic cybersquatters (did I just infringe a trademark?, Whoops…)…..I would have thought that if there was any chance of getting these purported cybersquats and infringing domain names off the registrants in time for the Vancouver Games (how many points was that?…lol), that a massive effort would have already been underway. After all, whats the point of shutting down a mom and pop t-shirt vendor in Vancouver because of supposed trademark infringement, but not taking any action against the potentially much more massive Internet market…