Prof Goldman: “1-800 VAIL Doesn’t Infringe — Vail Associates v. Vend-Tel-Co“:
This case nicely illustrates that a vanity 800 number containing a third party trademark doesn’t create a likelihood of consumer confusion. To the extent that 800 numbers are analogizable to keyword advertising, this case suggests that maybe keyword trademark triggering doesn’t either.
The defendant operates nearly 2 dozen 800-phone lines that all begin “1-800-SKI-[destination].” At issue in this case is the phone line 1-800-SKI-VAIL. The 800 number was a redirection service that routed callers to various businesses such as travel agencies.