A French court rules against the search engine in an intellectual property dispute, saying it must pay a fine for allowing advertisers to tie their text notices to trademarked search terms.
The Lower Court of Nanterre required Google France to pay 70,000 euros (about $81,400) to two companies that owned the rights to certain words. Google France sold the use of these words to advertisers through its AdWords program. AdWords permits individuals and companies to place advertisements on the Google home page that appear when a specific search term is used.
A spokesman for Google said Wednesday that the company would appeal. "As this is an ongoing legal matter, we cannot provide further comment," spokesman David Krane said.
Travel agencies Luteciel and Viaticum sued Google in December 2002, after the search company refused to curb the use of disputed words in the AdWords program.
Luteciel and Viaticum claimed intellectual property rights in "bourse des vols" and "bourse des voyages," which roughly translate to travel market and airflight market.
The French court concluded that Google France violated the country's intellectual property code that, translated, "prohibits, in the absence of authorization of its owner, the use of a trademark for products or services identical to those indicated in the recording."