Judge America: it is not illegal to purchase trademark keywords on Google

Source: Internet
Author: User
A federal U.S. judge ruled that the purchase of trademark search keywords may not be illegal. However, if someone else's trademark appears in the advertisement text generated by the Web search, it may be illegal.
According to CNET, John Hamzik is the owner of the trademark "TheDatingRing" and he sued the jewelry company Zale for infringing its trademark rights, zale has purchased paid search ads with the keyword "datingring" from Google, Yahoo, and other search engines. He also pointed out that searching for "datingring" on Zale's website will also display Zale's jewelry products on the edge of the search results.
Zale sued the court against Hamzik, saying that he had never printed the trademark name on the product or used "datingring" on his website ". The court said that Zale's display of the previous "datingring" search results does not mean that Zale has the conditions for legal trademark use. However, because Zale purchased the "datingring" keyword from multiple search engines, the court still kept the plaintiff's allegations of trademark infringement. When users enter "datingring" on Google or Yahoo website, the search result is displayed with "DatingRing-Zares" below the paid advertisement.
It is reported that some other companies have accused their competitors of buying keywords for their trademarks, but such trademark infringement litigation is usually rejected. However, the court said: "What makes the lawsuit different is that the trademark name of the plaintiff appears in the advertisements and documents used for related products and sales ."
Therefore, New York US local court judge ThomasJ. McAvoy partially approved last week and partially dismissed the trademark infringement allegations. The court also rejected the defendant's request to reject the plaintiff's allegations, but allowed the defendant to reject the claim for false advertising.
Eric Goldman, a professor at law school at Santa Clara University, said in his blog: "I think this ruling implies that Google is right. Google allows advertisers to purchase keywords with trademark protection (the Court points out that these keywords are not used for trademark use ), at the same time, however, the trademark owner is allowed to prevent others from copying their trademarks in the advertisement (the court ruled that this was used as a trademark ). The ruling may be controversial due to Utah's new anti-keyword advertising law, which allows the plaintiff to accuse his opponent of buying search keywords containing his trademark, without considering how the opponent said in the ad ."

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