SearchEngineLand wrote on a recent ruling by a French court that fined Google 350,000 Euros for allowing companies to bid on the trademarks of two companies.
Google maintains two policies for trademark use in AdWords: The policy in the US/UK/IE/CA and the policy used in the Rest of the World. Google's policy in France allows trademark holders to block unauthorized bids on trademarks. It appears that in this case, the trademark holders did not request those exclusions and instead sued Google directly.
From an article in The Register:
Google said that it has already appealed the case to the Paris Court of Appeal.
"Google disputes this judgment," said a Google statement. "Google's terms and conditions make clear that advertisers are responsible for their choice of keywords and warn against their unauthorised use. Google believes that our advertising services comply with French and European law on online advertising."
French courts have made similar rulings against Google in the past awarding victories to Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy and Meridien Hotels. It will be very interesting to see how the appeals courts respond to Google's respective appeals. Also, given the global nature of most brands I wonder if we will find brands that were unsuccessful in the US going after Google in other more friendly courts.