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Google has won the first stage of its legal battle to defend itself against accusations of trademark infringement. A court in Germany has ruled against Metaspinner Media, which was seeking to stop the search engine from selling adverts relating to its trademarks.

Metaspinner Media started court action against Google Deutschland in May. Metaspinner accused Google of selling ads triggered by searches for its online price comparison software "Preispiraten" or price pirate. Google has already faced similar legal action in France and the US.

Petra Bosback, Metaspinner Media's lawyer, told AP her client had lost the case but refused further comment. She said it would take weeks to analyse the decision. ®

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