Log in


Now in its twelfth year, Class 46 is dedicated to European trade mark law and practice. This weblog is written by a team of enthusiasts who want to spread the word and share their thoughts with others.

Want to receive Class 46 by email?
Click here subscribe for free.

Who we all are...
Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh
Birgit Clark
Blog Administrator
Christian Tenkhoff
Fidel Porcuna
Gino Van Roeyen
Markku Tuominen
Niamh Hall
Nikos Prentoulis
Stefan Schröter
Tomasz Rychlicki
Yvonne Onomor
Germany: OLG Frankfurt decides "Adword" case

Not all German court decisions are about polar bears. As court of appeal the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Frankfurt am Main last week decided that using a competitor's trade mark as a keyword ("Adword") in an internet search engine does not amount to trade mark infringement, if the search result is clearly recognisable as an advertisement.

The OLG made it clear that it disagreed with other German courts which have treated metags and "Adwords" in an identical manner. The Frankfurt court emphasised the difference between the use of metatags and "Adwords": while metatags are used to divert users to a different website, "Adwords" merely influenced the ranking/position of an advertisement but had no effect on the search result itself. By using the competitor's mark as an "Adword" to openly advertise one's own products, consumers would not be let to believe that the competitor's mark and the advertisor's products were economically linked. Using "Adwords" in such a way was also in accordance with German (unfair) competition laws. The decision is legally binding and cannot be further appealed.

Oberlandesgericht Frankfurt am Main, Decision of 26 February 2008; Case: 6 W 17/08 (press release in German; the decision in its entirety in German/PDF ).

Class 46 comment: "Adword" cases are currently a hot topic in Germany, especially since the first Federal Supreme Court (BGH) decision in this field is still outstanding. It has to be seen whether the BGH will agree with the OLG Frankfurt regarding the legal assessment of metatags and adwords.

Posted by: Birgit Clark @ 06.51
Tags: adwords, German trade marks, Google, Keyword advertising, OLG Frankfurt/M.,
Sharing on Social Media? Use the link below...
Perm-A-Link: https://www.marques.org/blogs/class46?XID=BHA246
Reader Comments: 0
Post a Comment

MARQUES does not guarantee the accuracy of the information in this blog. The views are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect those of MARQUES. Seek professional advice before action on any information included here.

The Class 46 Archive








+44 (0)116 2747355

9 Cartwright Court, Cartwright Way
Bardon, Leicestershire
LE67 1UE


Ingrid de Groot
Internal Relations Officer
Alessandra Romeo
External Relations Officer
James Nurton
Newsletter Editor
Robert Harrison

Signup for our blogs.
Headlines delivered to your inbox