Business Names, Trademarks and Keywords

As the use of keywords in websites and search engine optimization strategies increases, there is a concern about the use of another’s Business Name or Trademark to increase traffic to a potential competitor’s website.  This issue is a relatively novel issue and court rulings on the matter have not been clear on how this issue will be resolved. 

The concern from Trademark owners or Business Name owners is that their customers or potential customers will be taken away by the use of their Trademark or Business names as keywords on another’s websites. However, many of these Trademark or Business Names are legitimately used to describe, compare or define another’s service on their own website.  As such, there are valid policy concerns on both sides of the issue. 

For a recent case finding in favor of advertisers and permitting the use of Trademark or Business Names in advertising on the internet. See.  J.G. Wentworth v. Settlement Funding LLC, No. 06-5097 (E.D. Pa. 2007).

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