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More on Trademarks

By - February 04, 2004

Dana Blankenhorn continues the discussion on Corante w/r/t the trademark issue and paid search. This one is not going away, though I think this will come down to shades of gray, not black and white legal rulings. If a legal precedent is set that is too restrictive, many will cry foul and claim the suffocation of an entire industry (ie, the $6 billion paid search market). If there is no precedent, trademark law is weakened and those who depend on their trademarks will suffer. It will take time for the standards to emerge from case law.

Dana points to an email from BizWeek’s Alex Salkever, in which Alex notes that Google has already given in to Dell and eBay and disallowed others from advertising using those trademarks. But it’s worth noting that there is something of a quid pro quo – Dell and eBay buy massive amounts of keywords related to their trademarks, to cover searches which use the trademarks in the first place. Interesting – with no competition for those keywords, I wonder how the price is set? (thanks for the pointer, Hylton!)

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