AdWords Trademark Infringement
Lead generation companies use both registered and unregistered trademarks of their client’s competitors in Adwords sponsored ad campaigns online. It is happening in many industries and is wide-spread. Seemingly, these lead generation companies, on behalf of third party competitors, are essentially using the brand names and related search terms of their client’s competitors as the campaign keyword(s) to promote traffic to their website through sponsored ads. When searching the keyword or keyword phrase on Google, Bing or Yahoo, for example, the sponsored ad and corresponding website appears at or near the top of page in the paid search engine results. The website operators in question are targeting your business’s brand in an effort to siphon the existing goodwill from your business.
The problem, of course, is that these actions may in fact be actually misleading some visitors of the website that have conducted a search online for your […]
Brand owners should be vigilant and should police the use of their marks at all times by others. This includes when any marks are used in commerce as keywords in advertising or on a competitor’s website directly. In fact, trademark owners should monitor their marks’ use on the Internet as frequently as possible. If you find any improper uses, you should immediately utilize the search engine’s complaint process and dispute procedures.
Trademark owners should also consider bidding on their own trademarks. Each day, it seems more businesses are employing this approach to help stop unauthorized use of their marks. Bidding on your own trademarks will allow you to control your brand much more effectively.
You should also contact anyone that is improperly using your business’s trademarks as keywords immediately and send a Cease and Desist letter from your legal counsel. These types of letters are usually the first step in initiating any […]
Online reseller advertising trademark liability arises when advertisers or resellers either resell or facilitate the resale of a trademark owner’s branded products or when advertisers compare their products to their competitor’s products by referencing a protected trademark in their online ads. But, under the first sale doctrine, a trademark’s owners’ rights do not extend past the first sale of goods bearing its mark. Any distributor who resells trademarked goods is not liable for trademark infringement as long as the trademarked goods it sells are genuine (Polymer Technology Corp. v. Mimran (1992)). In essence, the first sale doctrine protects the secondary resale markets.
Trademark owners can assert several trademark claims in keyword advertising, including claims for infringement, contributory infringement and dilution. Also, as you will learn, claims for false advertising may be able to be asserted relating to keyword advertising. Infringement occurs when a person uses another’s mark or a similar mark […]