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Keyword advertisers win some, lose some

For some years now, trademark owners have been battling search engines and online advertisers over the sale and purchase of keywords (trademarks) that trigger online advertising. Two recent and conflicting rulings show that the application of traditional trademark principles and law to the new keyword technology can be a complicated matter.

Online advertiser......

Full article >>> of the keyword constitutes trademark infringement.

Indeed, the federal trademark statute, the Lanham Act, expressly uses the word "sponsored" in determining whether an infringement has occurred, and the Google and Yahoo! links are advertised as "sponsored."

Sponsored by whom? Do Web users understand that the sponsored links are paid-for ads, or do they believe they are sponsore......

Full article >>> the court on the evidence before it, where the advertisers used the GEICO trademark in the advertisement title or text, the advertisements caused a likelihood of consumer confusion as to source or sponsorship. So, if GEICO had sued the advertisers, which it did not, they would have been found liable. The case settled before the Court heard evidence on whether Google was "contributorily liable" for......

Full article >>> /i> court reaffirmed its ruling dismissing the mark owner's trademark infringement claims. Merck., _ F.Supp.2d _, 2006 WL 1418616 (S.D.N.Y. May 24, 2006).

To explain its finding that there is no "use" of the ZOCOR trademark, the court compared it to the product placement marketing strategy employed in retail stores, "where, for example, a drugstore places its generic products alon......

Full article >>> professionals/bio.aspx?id=11583" target="_blank">Deborah A. Wilcox is a lawyer and co-chair of intellectual property litigation at Baker and Hostetler, LLP, in Cleveland. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School and regularly handles copyright, trademark and e-commerce litigation. She can be reached at

Source:wistechnology.com By Deborah Wilcox 06/12/06


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