Google is defending itself from a legal motion filed by a German pen company in a case that could look completely different in a world with SOPA.
Famed pen, jewelry and watch company Montblanc filed a bill of discovery Wednesday in a California federal court asking Google to turn over a list of its advertisers.
Montblanc alleges that the Mountain View-based search giant has allowed several counterfeit companies to advertise knockoffs based on its products on Google when searching for pens by the German company.
In its filing, Montblanc says there were numerous instances it first noticed in July 2011 when searching "Montblanc" on www.google.co.uk would bring up ads linking to counterfeit Montblanc pens on sites with spoofed URLs.
The company says it brought the information to Google UK's attention, whose legal team responded that the company had removed the ads and warned the violating companies.
Montblanc alleges that the ads continued to show up even after Google assured the pen-maker that they were gone, according to the court filing.
The company then requested that Google turn over the names and locations of the advertisers because it was unable to locate the true identity of the companies.
Google refused, saying it was against company policy to disclose advertiser information without a court order, according to the court filing.
Montblanc then filed a motion in British courts to force Google to reveal the names but Google UK responded by saying its parent company in Mountain View was the only party with the names.
Google UK asked Montblanc to withdraw the discovery request and said that Google would agree to comply with a discovery motion if the German company filed a motion for discovery in California instead, according to the court documents.
In its filing this week, Montblanc asked Google to turn over the names of the advertisers behind the copyright infringing ads so the pen-maker can then sue those companies, not Google.
The discovery motion is a legal procedure to get information from a person or a company before filing a suit.
The search company has not responded to the filing yet.