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Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts

Abstract

Trademark owners in America and Europe are attacking the lucrative practice of selling search results and advertising linked to searches based on product names and trademarks, which is known as trademark keying. From makers of luxury products to travel companies, and insurance companies to home décor vendors, companies have sued Internet search providers to stop this practice that they believe amounts to trademark infringement. Recent cases against search engine companies in American and French courts reflect divergent views on the legality of the practice at this early stage of the debate. This Article evaluates recent rulings in both jurisdictions which illustrate the challenges that search engines and trademark owners face as they try to protect their interests.

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