A bank’s use of competitors’ protected names as keywords in search engine advertising is a legitimate business practice, a Norwegian court has ruled.

Bank Norwegian was entitled to purchase and use the trademarked names of competing banks as keywords in Google Ads, formerly Google Adwords, the Asker and Baerum District Court ruled.

While in line with EU case law, the Jan. 6 ruling is a new precedent that contradicts several previous decisions from the Norwegian Business and Industry Committee, which...