Attorney Authored

Using Trademarked Keywords on the Internet

November 21, 2011

By Glenn Dassoff and Abigail Lloyd

Savvy online vendors dramatically increase their sales by purchasing keywords from online search engines. Heres how it is typically done. A vendor creates an ad. The vendor then selects or bids on keywords, which are words or phrases related to its business that it thinks customers will likely use when searching online for a business or item. When people search using one of the vendors keywords, the vendors ad appears next to the search results. The purchased keywords allow a vendor to more easily attract online customers. However, sometimes those keywords may be trademarked terms, including trademarks of the vendors competitors. What happens when purchase of anothers trademark as a keyword actually drives consumer traffic to the competing vendors ad?

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