Through the years of working on web-related communication and marketing, I constantly find myself having to “educate” corporate lawyers on the legal issues related to the web. Hopefully, these days, lawyers are getting more training on this fast-changing area of the law. Nevertheless, its complicated and, well, fast changing.
Consider this article by Kevin M. Ryan over at iMedia Connection.
The use of another’s brand identity in search engine advertising has been the subject of debate for quite some time. When a brand keyword search triggers an advertisement on a search engine, searchers not only click often, they buy big.
Naturally, competitors would love to capture buyers about to make a purchase decision, but should search engines allow competitive brands to buy those keywords? To date, the courts have decided both in favor of search engines and against them in at least two highly publicized lawsuits.
For the moment, it’s up to you to take action when an abuse occurs, and there are several viable options available to brand marketers. However, with actions still in court and recent legislation from Utah, the product and brand search term debate is once again heating up.