No flights zone – Ryanair v Google, Edreams

Posted: 2 years ago in: News, Trademark Dispute, Trademark InfringementPosted By admin

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No flights zone – over alleged trademark infringement

Ryanair took a high court action in a trademark dispute against Google, and Edreams, an online travel website, in late 2015.  Ryanair alleged trademark infringement, and used Ryanair’s trademark in adwords campaigns to attract business.

Ryanair believes Edreams has used website material similar to Ryanair’s.  Ryanair accuses Edreams of passing off, and using Ryanair trademarks and flight codes.  It alleges the site is charging fares higher than Ryanair.

Edreams denies the allegations.  Edreams website showed pages to book flights for several airlines, including Easyjet, Emirates and Ryanair flights.  It shows the logo of the airline on the airline booking entry web-page.

You cannot use a registered trademark without permission

A registered trademark carries rights to use it in trade  – these are exclusivity rights.  Thus, nobody can use a registered trademark in trade without the owners permission.  If you do you may be open to being sued for trademark infringement.

Edreams is a flight wholesaler or travel agent.  On its website, you just insert a date, origin and destination, and it searches for flights among a wide range of airlines.  Based on the information displayed, one would assume the website has some form of permission to access databases of the relevant airlines, otherwise it could not show availability, or book certain seats.

Has Ryanair acquiesced in any way?

A core issue will be acquiescence – whether Edreams has permission to access data relating to Ryanair flights.  Has Ryanair accepted bookings from Edreams?  If Edreams is damaging Ryanair, why does it not shut access to its bookings system down?

If Ryanair wanted to stop Edreams, one would assume it could refuse to sell tickets to Edreams, and block access to its flight reservations systems.

Google Adwords in alleged trademark infringement dispute once more

Once again, Google’s adwords are a bone of contention.  Ryanair alleges they appear to re-direct consumers looking for Ryanair flights to other sellers of tickets.  Ryanair does not approve of this in the case of Edreams.  Use of a competitors trademark in an adwords campaign, when notified to Google, can be contested if it is not removed.  So Ryanair has brought Google into the action.

This trademark dispute should be an interesting one

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