11
May/07

Important EDNY Decision on Keywords and Metatags


This is a pretty interesting analysis. Defendant placed plaintiff’s trademark in metatags, and also purchased search ads keyed to that trademark. Neither the ads not defendant’s webpage used the ads.
Held: If the trademark was on the webpage that was visible to potential customers, that might have been use in commerce. If the defendant actively puts the trademark in the meta-tags where the search engine can see it, with the intent that more people will see the website, that’s not use on the advertisement, so its not use in commerce. (as an aside, it is generally thought at this time that search engines ignore meta-tags).
i guess buying search ads is, to a certain extent, like moving next to the anchor store in the mall. You’ve actively positioned yourself next to the trademark owner, and can divert traffic through adjacency (mayt not divert by confusion.)

SitePro v. BetterMetal
, 1:06-cv-06508-ILG-RER (EDNY May 9 2007).

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