GA’s Opinion in Inteflora
Article 5(2) of Directive 89/104 and Article 9(1)(c) of Regulation No 40/94 must be interpreted as meaning that the use of a sign as a keyword in an internet referencing service in relation to goods or services identical to those covered by an identical trade mark with a reputation also falls within the scope of application of those provisions and it can be forbidden by the trade mark owner when
(a) the ad shown as a result of the internet user having typed as a search term the keyword identical with a trade mark with a reputation mentions or displays that trade mark; and
(b) the trade mark
– is either used therein as a generic term covering a class or category of goods or services;
– or the advertiser attempts thereby to benefit from its power of attraction, its reputation or its prestige, and to exploit the marketing effort expended by the proprietor of that mark in order to create and maintain the image of that mark.
(3) The fact that the internet search engine operator does not permit trade mark proprietors in the relevant geographical area to block the selection of signs identical to their trade marks as keywords by other parties is as such immaterial in so far as the liability of the advertiser using of the keywords is concerned