The European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down its long-awaited opinion last month in Interflora v. Marks & Spencer, clarifying the scope of trademark protection in the European Union under the EU’s Trademarks Directive (89/104/EEC).  The ECJ ruling parallels recommendations made by the Advocate General to the ECJ in March, which suggested that the court place restrictions on the ability of companies to use the trademarks of their rivals as keywords, particularly where the resulting ad is likely to confuse consumers.  But the ruling also makes clear that companies may use a competitor’s mark as a keyword where doing so is not likely to confuse consumers as to the origin of the advertised product.  And the court seemed especially willing to countenance the use of trademarks as keywords where the purpose was to offer consumers alternatives to the product or service they were searching for rather than knock-offs.