Trademark Law – What Search Marketers Should Know, Part 1

What’s a Trademark (and Trademark Law)? Trademark Usage (and Infringement) in Search Results. Search Engines’ Policy on Trademarks and the Law. Search Engines’ Policy on Trademark Usage. Complexities of Trademark Infringement Detection. These are all issues addressed in part one of a Search Engine Watch article by Grant Cowell.The article begins:
“Since search became monetized, trademarks have been a front-and-center issue for legal debate. In the late 1990s, competitors were buying each other’s trademarks as keywords, and hiding those keywords in meta tags. Today, with the proliferation of paid and organic search listings, search and trademarks have become a growing dilemma for search engines and advertisers alike.””Intellectual property attorneys widely consider U.S. trademark law to be well behind the advances in Web and search technology. With a growing number of trademark infringement lawsuits against search engines, and a general ignorance by state and federal legislators on the true application of trademark law itself, few legal guidelines are currently in place for search engines or search marketers to put their full and complete trust in, making online trademark protection and marketing a very shaky issue.”Most search marketers will almost certainly encounter trademark issues at some point in their careers. Either they’ll have to protect their own trademark or that of a client, or defend the use of others’ registered trademarks in their own marketing activities. This is a natural condition of the job. Search marketers normally have to deal with the marketing of popular keywords, and sometimes the most popular keywords are the registered trademarks of others. Without knowing how to properly use those trademarks for marketing purposes, SEMs and their clients could be subject to penalties, by both by the search engines and the courts.”There are some basic guidelines search marketers should follow. Search engines will both protect your own trademarks from unauthorized use, and enforce trademark infringement against search marketers.”To read the rest of part one of Search Engine Watch’s article, see

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