Ryanair launch legal battle against Google over alleged infringement of IP rights
Ryanair has sued Google Ireland Ltd and a Spanish online e-commerce travel agency, whose services include online purchase of airline tickets.
In its action, Ryanair is claiming damages over alleged infringement by the defendants of certain of the airline's registered community trade marks and infringement of its intellectual property rights as its tickets are also purchased through those services.
The airline is also alleging conspiracy, misstatement and misrepresentation.
The proceedings against Google Ireland Ltd and Vacaciones EDreams S.L were entered by Mr Justice Brian McGovern, on the application of Google, into the Commercial Court list, which fast-tracks big business cases.
In its application, Google said it is an indrect subsidiary of Google Inc and is Google Inc's centre for sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
It said EMEA users of the AdWords online advertising service enter into arrangements with Google to access this service and Ryanair has objected to the manner in which the service has been used by the Spanish company to market its business.
The display by Google of Ryanair's European Community registered trade marks in any subdomain,url, website address or Google Adword associated with, or to the benefit of EDreams, infringes its European Community registered trade marks and or intellectual rights, the airline claims.
The airline wants a number of orders including a declaration EDreams is passing off its search and booking services and or websites as being connected with the Ryanair's search and booking services and website.
It wants orders restraining the defendants using the name 'Ryanair' in an internet search engine for the purpose of generating an ad or promotion concerning the search or booking through EDreams website of Ryanair flights.
It also wants orders, under the European Communities (Misleading and Comparative Marketing Communications) Regulations 2007 prohibiting the defendants engaging in a misleading marketing communication or a prohibited comparative marketing communication.
It is also seeking an inquiry into, or account of profits, arising from the alleged wrongs of the defendants.
The case will come before the Commercial Court again in the new year.